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Preface x 

1. America Bares Its Body and Soul 3 

Spheres of Psychological Influence 

2. Gershwin, Whistler, Marble, Deisler, Jones Sensory Champions 1 8 

Seeing, Hearing, Tasting, Smelling, etc. Man's Eleven Senses 

3. "You and Heredity" 34 . 

A Psychology for Some Individual Differences 

4. From Carnegie Hall to the Flying Trapeze 58 

Heredity and Environment Among Athletes and Performers 

5. Why Birds Go South, and Vision Among the Blind 74 

Instincts, Humans, and Animal Psychology 

6. Problem Children and Problem Parents 105 

The Psychology of Your Child and Childhood 

7. Consumers and Criminals Are Caught by Their Emotions 145 

The Psychology of Emotions 

8. The Circus Giant and the Bearded Lady 167 

Personality Effects of the Endocrine Glands 

9. From Hollywood to City College 185 

Typing and Judging Personality 

10. "What Makes Sammy Run ?" 211 

The Role of Motives in Personality Analysis 

11. Dodging Through Life, or Seven Roads to Failure 233 

Conflicts and Adjustments in Personality Formation 

12. Catching and Combating Fear Neuroses in War and Peace 250 

Fear and Personality 

13. "Two-Gun" Crowley and Adolph Hitler 280 

The Psychology of the Psychotic Personality 

14. Quiz Kids and Phi Beta Kappa Men 306 

The Intelligence Quotient and Personality 

15. Tell 'Em, Tell 'Em; What to Tell Them ? 340 

The Psychology of Sex Development and Sex Problems 

Bibliographical Acknowledgment to References 379 

Indexes 387 


READERS who do not read prefaces or introductions make life diffi- 
cult for a conscientious author. It's like pitching to a batter who 
never takes the first ball pitched. How to get these readers to 
peruse one's introductory remarks becomes an author's dilemma. 
The preface can be omitted. But that would be an example of 
solving problems by running away from them, and that's poor 
psychology in a book on psychology. 

Somewhere in this book I point out that John Barrymore habit- 
ually employed the ineffective escape mechanism of fleeing from 
his problems. Barrymore kept running away from his wives 
all four of them. This writer has no desire to lead a life of flight. 

George Bernard Shaw said in one of his introductions that only 
a fool reads an introduction first. Then we find him writing a 
high-sounding philosophical introduction in the form of a thirty- 
three page letter addressed to a fellow critic, which he calls "epistle 
dedicatory." But he's George Bernard Shaw. 

In Somerset Maugham's recent offering, The Razors Edge, he 
has an introduction that he wants the reader to read. So he starts 
his book with it and calls it chapter one. But he's Somerset 

Now I have a few prefatory remarks that I would like to have 
read, and also some words of thanks and acknowledgment that 
I would like the reader to know about. I do not wish to treat these 
acknowledgments cursorily, nor do I wish to discharge my obliga- 
tions by heaping them line upon line into a mass of unreadable 
names of people, books and places. And so, I begin my preface 
with the words of Benjamin Franklin : 


NOT thou disturbed, O grave and sober reader, if among 
the many serious sentences in my book thou findest me trifling now 
and then, and talking idly. In all the dishes I have hitherto cooked 
for thee, there is solid meat enough for thy money. There are 
scraps from the table of wisdom that will, if well digested, yield 
strong nourishment to thy mind. But squeamish stomachs cannot 
cat without pickles; which, 'tis true, are good for nothing else, but 
they provoke an appetite." 

These are the words of Benjamin Franklin, offered by his Poor 
Richard in 1739; applied to this book I say, "ditto." And so you 
will find "Schnozzle" Durante exclaiming, "Umbriago!" and ask- 
ing, "How do they get that way?" on the same page with the 
eminent Professor Gardner Murphy who asks, "How do human 
beings become the complicated personalities that we know them 
to be?" 

Yet in quoting celebrated figures and the writings of best selling 
novelists, as I have done throughout, I am in no sense "trifling" or 
"talking idly." When I say in this preface that I am indebted to 
such popular writers as Paul Gallico, Kathleen Norris, Alva John- 
ston, J. P. McEvoy, 6orothy Walworth, Herb Graffis, Frederick 
Sondern Jr., George Kent, and Henry Pringle for the privilege of 
quoting from their popularized writings, I recognize that their 
contributions to our fund of psychological insight about people is 
easily as great as that of scientific psychologists. Nor is scientific 
psychology to be considered any the less important because of 

Preface xi 

this. As I view it, the novelist and popular scribe is the interpreter 
of psychology for the people. And if his approach requires that he 
stretch a point or two and speak inexactly now and then, but not 
inaccurately, it is only because he is a good story teller and a real- 
istic salesman. 

In acknowledging my gratitude to the publishers and editors of 
the Reader's Digest, The Saturday Evening Post, Time, Ufe, Es- 
quire, Collier's, Newswee\, and The New Yorl^ Times Magazine, 
for permission to quote from material originally published in their 
pages, I am cognizant of their incalculable influence as educators 
of the public mind. 

The offerings of such recognized writers as Paul de Kruif, 
George W. Gray, Lois Mattox Miller, Albert Q. Maisel, and J. D. 
Ratcliflf are respected for their scientific accuracy albeit unsci- 
entific presentation. I unhesitatingly acknowledge that I have 
gleaned much from their writings. 

I owe more than casual thanks to a group of pen and ink 
sketchers who are among the best cartoonists in the country. By 
granting me the courtesy to reproduce their cartoons with the ac- 
companying cogent psychological reflections, they have given this 
book some of the "pickles" that Benjamin Franklin speaks about 
in the opening quote. For free, Paul McCarthy, Ted Key, Adolph 
Schus, Dave Huffine, Fred Neher, William Galbraith and James 
Gibson permitted me to use their cartoons. For this privilege they 
ordinarily receive $25. What with a recent news item reporting 
that "a rat catcher's salary in a certain institution of higher learn- 
ing was higher than that of the teachers in that institution," I am 
moved to say, "Thanks again, fellows." 

My indebtedness to the many authors and publishers of the 
books from which I have quoted directly is recorded in an ap- 
pendix of references. However, there are several books and authors 
to whom I owe special acknowledgment for lengthy quotations. 
Some of the things they wrote were much too well done for me 
to mutilate by rephrasing the same thoughts, and so I quoted ex- 

xii Preface 

tcnsively. In this group are the late Dr. Logan Clendenning's The 
Human Body, Dr. Arthur Hertzler's The Horse and Buggy Doc- 
tor, Dr. Hans Zinsser's As^l Remember Him, Amram Scheinf eld's 
You and Heredity, L. F. Shaffer's Psychology of Adjustment, 
Budd Schulberg's What Mafes Sammy Run?, Dr. Robert Morris' 
Fifty Years A Surgeon, A. }. Cronin's The Keys of the Kingdom f 
Paul Gallico's Farewell to Sport, and Henry Bellamann's King's 

In obtaining permission to quote from newspaper columns cer- 
tain pieces that I considered apt reflections on human nature, I am 
happy to express my thanks to and respect for, such feature writers 
as Catherine Mackenzie, Ruth Millet, Leonard Lyons, Dan 
Parker, Albert Deutsch, Richard Kenny, Howard Whitman, and 
Walter Winchell. 

In the writing of most books there are innumerable persons who 
extend courtesies of one kind or another. The length of such a list 
of names would make this preface unreadable. In a work pertain- 
ing to a scientific subject there is usually a group of professional 
experts who lend assistance through interviews, advice and other 
favors. To record the names of the many psychologists and psy- 
chiatrists who have thus aided would be presumptuous on my 
part It would give the impression that they had read and approved 
this book. While the idea behind the book appealed to them, and 
they read and corrected parts of it, none read the manuscript in 
toto. These persons know who they are, and to them I extend my 
sincere thanks. 

Librarians in general are rarely given their due credit in the 
making of a book. In the preparation of this book two particular 
library staffs helped immeasurably. It is my pleasure to have this 
opportunity to acknowledge the efficient and gracious assistance 
accorded me by Miss Dorothy L. Cobb and her associates at the 
Highbridge branch of the New York Public Library. To the City 
College library staff I owe appreciation for their f orebearance with 
my abuse of the many library privileges extended me. 

Preface xiii 

Michael Supa and Jake Twersky are mentioned in the body of 
this book. They arc both blind and are remarkable persons in their 
wholesome adaptation to life and in their devotion to the educa- 
tion of their fellow-men. I write of them here because of the debt 
of gratitude I owe them for their expenditure of time and their 
sincere interest in helping me to gather information for parts of 
this book. 

An advertising executive and a first term high school student 
stood in judgment on the contents of the manuscript. They gave 
me the benefit of a reader's comments as seen through the eyes of 
puberty and the age at which "life begins." To Henry Rowen, the 
executive, I tender my thanks for his patience and helpfulness. To 
the youngster, whom I prefer not to name because I believe it 
would be unwholesome publicity at his age, I tender the same 
gratitude for an equal task, well done. 

There are a few other points worthy of note in this preface. I 
spoke previously of psychologists and psychiatrists. Since intro- 
ductions are written after books are completed, I know that no- 
where in these pages is the difference between psychology and 
psychiatry given. Perhaps a formal definition of each will serve to 
differentiate them. 

"Psychology," according to Webster, "is the science which treats 
of the mind (of man or other organisms) in any of its aspects."^ 

"Psychiatry," according to Webster, "is the medical specialty 
that deals with mental disorders, especially with the psychoses, 
but also with the neuroses." 

With all due respect to Webster, it is possible that the reader is 
still in the dark as to the exact difference between the work of the 
psychologist as compared with the psychiatrist. The psychiatrist 
specializes in the care of the mentally sick and has little to do with 
people who are mentally well. He is a medical doctor first and 
then he specializes in mental diseases. The psychologist, on the 
t>thcr hand, is not an M.D. but is academically trained. He gives 
his time to teaching, testing, analyzing and prescribing for normal 

xiv Preface 

individuals in nurseries, schools, industry, courtrooms and psy- 
chological clinics. This book is concerned chiefly with the findings 
and work of psychology, but treats the realm of psychiatry in a 
chapter on fear neuroses and one on the psychology of abnormal- 

In the preparation of this book I have bent every effort to make 
it readable, entertaining and informative as well as thought-stimu- 
lating. I have frequently included controversial issues and diverse 
psychological opinions though this be a non-technical treatise. It 
has not been my intention to be iconoclastic or to inordinately 
whitewash psychology. I have not presented scientific psychology 
as a field of exact science with laws and principles worked out to 
mathematical nicety as others have done because I do not believe 
it is yet a science nearly so exact as biology, for instance, although 
it very properly aspires to be such. 

In truth, there are ever so many phases of the subject on which 
scientific psychologists are not themselves agreed. Although this is 
a healthy state of affairs that makes for progress in any field, 
where I thought that capricious disagreement prevailed in psy- 
chological thinking among the experts, I pointed to it frankly. 
While such a presentation might on occasion confound the reader, 
or leave him high and dry for want of a definite stand, I have 
deemed it more worthy to take the reader into the inner sanctum 
of psychological disputes than to treat him as an immature child 
to whom you say, "Keep out of this, you're too young to know 
what it's all about" And in the meantime the youngster sticks his 
tongue in his cheek and thinks, "if only you knew what I know 
about you." 

One final confession I have to make to the reader who never 
takes the first ball pitched or reads an introduction first is that 
chapter one is really -introductory. It is intended to give a bird's- 
eye view of what to expect in the chapters that follow. 




/NDER the influence of psychology, twentieth century 
America has been having a "coming out" party. Coquetry, prud- 
ery, and suppression have been giving way as men and women 
are laying bare more of their body and soul than has ever been 
exposed before. Ignorance, gullibility, innocence, and naivete are 
being diminished through the spread of psychological wisdom. 
This newly acquired sophistication in the public attitude can be 
seen everywhere. 

The model of courageous behavior is no longer portrayed by 
a stoic, tight-lipped, muscle-bound he-man. He has been replaced 
by the realistic male who expresses normal human emotions as 
the situation dictates. The indomitable heroes of the screen, Clark 
Gable, Robert Taylor, and Gary Cooper, are seen to shed an ap- 
propriate tear in their stirring dramas of human suffering depicted 
in battle. Correspondent Al Newman describes crying com- 
mandos among the wounded prisoners of war returning to Eng- 
land. These rugged fighters from the beaches in remote corners 
of the world, who had almost despaired of ever seeing home, 
were openly crying for joy. 

George Kent, feature writer for the Readers Digest, tells of an- 
other kind of crying. He quotes an army sergeant relating his 
experience on Guadalcanal: "The guy in the next bunk is cry- 
ing. He's a guy with big muscles and a tough face. Now he's 

4 Psychology for the Millions 

crying and he can't say why. What can you do? You're not so 
goddam far away from crying yourself. And if you so much as 
notice him, the way he feels, he's liable to cut your throat. So you 
play as if you don't hear." 

The late Willard Waller of Columbia University sees still an- 
other situation for crying. In his most recent book, The Veteran 
Comes Bac^ he advises: "If your son comes home disabled or 
disfigured, cry! . . . Let him cry too. Let everybody cry. Cry un- 
til you get it out of your systems . . . Do not start being hard- 
boiled until you have been sympathetic." 

In these descriptions of human behavior, realism has supplanted 
provincially colored stoicism. The supposed hard-bitten soldier 
bares his soul and is that much better off for it. 

The literal minded reader can view the baring of the body in a 
recent series of Saturday Evening Post color photos depicting the 
exposure of the American Bathing Girl from her concealing blouse 
and pantaloons of the i88o's to the revealing briefs and bras of 
today. "Yes my daring daughter" is the apt title to this saga of 
Miss America's crusade for health-giving sunshine waged against 
inhibiting traditions of false modesty. 

In our time we have seen the acceptance of the venereal dis- 
eases, syphilis and gonorrhea, as topics of drawing-room conversa- 
tion. These words, stamped for centuries as a form of unmention- 
able lasciviousness, circulate in our morning newspapers as part 
of a campaign promoted to eradicate the venereal scourge. A cam- 
paign that included lectures on syphilis to school children! articles 
on gonorrhea in national magazines! and film shorts shown to the 
movie-going population practically everybody! This educational 
barrage led to the establishment of free venereal disease clinics 
modeled after the first Intensive Treatment Center in Chicago. If 
you had visited the windy city at diis time you would have found 
non-cooperative taverns and hotels that harbored prostitutes, bear- 
ing a big red sign tacked up by the health authorities saying, 
"Syphilis Here Keep Out!" 

America Bares Its Body and Soul 5 


In this same vein of unabashed expressiveness newspapers, 
magazines, books, and dramatis personae of the stage have taken 
to using the actual language of their characters. In most of Clifford 
Odets' plays on life among the bourgeoisie, somebody invariably 
calls someone a "crazy bastard." George S. Kaufman never fails 
to draw a titter from his Music Box audience with a well timed 
"bitch" or "whore." Howard Whitman, staff correspondent of the 
Daily News, reports, "War no longer hell for fortress crew." From 
this caption he goes on to describe the men of the flying fortress 
What's Cookin, who return to lunch at the "lucky bastards" table, 
so named for crews who complete their thirty-five combat mis- 

At this very period, Lillian Smith wrote a fairly good novel 
about a Negro girl and a white boy. Not a very new theme. But 
on page 225 of the first edition, there appeared in print a certain 
six-letter word beginning with "F." Were I to spell it out, this 
might become a best seller. Miss Smith's Strange Fruit was banned 
in Boston, so more than 500,000 people bought it to have a look for 
themselves. Such goings on inspired one humorist to quip that, 
"Boston is a place where it's safer to be a bookie than a book." 

Discussing the psychology of this recent public appearance of 
off-color language with my publisher, Frederick Fell (advt.), 
he remarked that Vardis Fisher, as his professor of English Litera- 
ture in 1929, had stated in class that in about fifteen to twenty years 
such forceful language would appear in popular print and even 
include a certain four-letter word that begins with "F." 

Inclined to skepticism, I wrote to Vardis Fisher inquiring about 
his amazingly accurate prophecy. His cordial answer came by 
return post. Said the well-known author: "I imagine I made the 
statement many times, and you may use it with my name at- 
tached." And he added his explanation. "As I see it," wrote Mr* 
Fisher, "increasing boldness in the use of such language, as well 

6 Psychology for the Millions 

as zoot suits, jive, and all the rest of it, is an attempt in the sub- 
conscious mind to throw off repressions. This is a repressed and 
ingrown cult-ridden land." 


America is all that Mr. Fisher says it is, but as he indicates, we 
are attempting release from hide-bound tradition. Our release 
under the tutelage of modern psychology extends much further 
than mere exhibitionism. It has yielded a give and take that brooks 
little reverence for the assumption of titled immunities. In the 
schoolroom, the once existent social gap between student and 
teacher has been narrowed to a crevice. The teacher who was 
bowed down to, and held in awe is practically extinct. To the 
kindergartener as well as the college-senior, the schoolmaster is 
so much common clay with more than his or her share of deficien- 
cies. Barbara returns home from the first grade to report that 
"Mrs. Brown is such a nervous wreck." Jimmy, in the sixth grade, 
informs his father, "Boy, is my drawing-teacher a wack!" And 
John, the college sophomore, says to his buddy in the locker room, 
"That guy Jones is supposed to be teaching psychology but he 
would do better to apply it to himself." 

All of this is a healthy condition which has been awakened and 
fostered by schools of higher learning. It may sound odd that 
schools should teach youngsters to question their elders, but it's 
true. This critical spirit received its greatest impetus in the col- 
legiate courses in "educational psychology" and "teaching method- 
ology." In other words, the college professors taught budding 
teachers to instil in their pupils a critical, questioning spirit. It 
appears that the new teachers applied their lessons well; so well 
that the colleagues of their former professors are having trouble 
keeping up with the newer generation. A reaction was bound to 
set in, and did. But many hardy pedagogues are continuing the 
process of breaking down restrictive, educational antiquities. 

Pulitzer prize biographer Henry Pringle describes little St. Johns 

America Bares Its Body and Soul 7 

College of Maryland where some new ideas are being tried out. 
An unusual atmosphere of informality within the faculty and 
between faculty and student body prevails. The President, String- 
fellow Barr, dresses in loud, gay clothes and is addressed as 
"Winkie" by members of the staff and even by a few students. 
There is no hierarchy of faculty; everybody has the rank of tutor 
with the exception of the president and the dean. 

Students are encouraged to express their opinions and explain 
their difficulties. At the end of each semester the student is called 
before a board of his tutors after the fashion of the Oxford "rag- 
ging," to be orally questioned and given a chance to talk back if 
he likes. Here is Mr. Pringle's account of a not unusual reaction 
by a boy who was accused of lacking a mathematical mind. Turn- 
ing on his tutor he said, "The trouble with you, is that you speak 
beautiful mathematical language, but you have no idea of how to 
translate it to us. You stand at the board and do equations without 
giving us a chance to take part." 

What a perfect idea! As an instructor in a college and a peren- 
nial student, this writer can only say that if students in every 
college and high school in the country were given the same op- 
portunity, there would be a radical improvement in the teach- 
ing business. Student censorship of the Professor's ability is not 
without precedent in the United States. Dr. Arthur Hertzler de- 
scribes an interesting practice from his early medical teaching 
days when, as he says, "lecturing to students was a ticklish busi- 
ness. If students did not like an uninteresting teacher they hooted 
him; and if he did not take the hint, they shied tin cans and 
rubber shoes at him. Then the trustees had to elect another 'pro- 
fessor/ " It sounds crude, but nevertheless effective. Maryland's 
St. Johns College of today seems to have the better idea- at least 
from where I have to stand to earn my living. 

8 Psychology for the Millions 


The institution of lying in America was once treated as an un- 
equivocal taboo. Mothers taught their children that they "must 
not lie" and that's all there was to it. Next, the post-puritanical 
"white-lie" was made the romantic subject of the hearts and flow- 
ers variety of drama. Now, psychological analysis of lying is 
the accepted mode. In our enlightenment we recognize that to 
understand the lie or the liar it is necessary to learn the motive. 
The man whose training is so one-sided that he cannot deviate 
from the straight and narrow when occasion demands, injures 
himself and those about him. 

In the case of physicians, "to lie or not to lie" arises as a fre- 
quent problem. The late Hans Zinsser tells of a medical acquaint- 
ance who held that "absolute, uncompromising truthfulness is the 
only justifiable position." One of this doctor's patients was an old 
lady with an "epithelioma" of the lip, a cancerous type growth 
that occurs in the aged but which yields to treatment. In the words 
of Zinsser: "To tell this poor soul, for the sake of one's distorted 
conscience, that she was suffering from 'cancer/ planting this 
spectre in her sensitive old mind, was however well meant in- 
humanly stupid." Both the humanist and psychologist would 
agree with Dr. Zinsser. 

In our new-found intelligence of viewing the art of lying for its 
own worth, we have reawakened a source of American humor 
from the cracker-barrel days when men sat and spat around the 
pot-bellied stove. Recently contributed to the Readers Digest as 
an example of "life in these United States" is the illustrative anec- 
dote about the New Yorker who complimented the New Eng- 
lander on his hillside field of corn. 

"How do you plow that field? It looks pretty steep." 

"Don't plow it; when the spring thaws come, the rocks rolling 
down hill tear it up." 

"That so? How do you plant it?" 

America Bares Its Body and Soul 9 

"Don't plant it really. Just stand in my back door and shoot the 
seed in with a shotgun." 

"Is that the truth?" asked the New Yorker. 

"Hell, no. That's conversation." 

Were all of us to develop this New Englander's appreciation of 
the tall tale we might see some of our friends in a more wholesome 
light. I can recall a course in Mental Hygiene when this thought 
was presented for our delectation: "To really know the bird that 
habitually stretches the truth," said Professor Shailer Lawton 
with a twinkle in his eye, "you have to appreciate him. Calling 
him a pathologic liar 'don't mean nothin* at all.' He's probably 
just an actor, trying to entertain you. He makes a dull story in- 
teresting. See what I mean?" 


Such earthy and realistic self-visualization has led to the ex- 
posure of naive repressions. It has lightened the burden of inhibit- 
ing influences in every walk of life. Though we have a long way 
to go, the war situation, as wars usually do, speeded up the process. 
The fighting men of our armed forces everywhere had to be edu- 
cated against the crippling and paralyzing effects of repressed 

Through the use of a handbook on Psychology for the Fight- 
ing Man, and simple lectures illustrated with lively sketches, men 
in service were taught, that to fear is normal. Going into battle 
they were not so much afraid of being afraid. They healthfully 
admitted to one another the emotions of their darkest moments. 
They talked of their prayers to God when facing death. Frederick 
Sondcrn Jr., the roving reporter, records a dramatic moment when 
he was in a bomber being chased by a dozen Messerschmitts. The 
German planes came zooming in their direction; twelve fighter 
planes against one bomber. Sondcrn and the waist-gunner looked 
at each other and decided that their end had arrived. 

For some unknown reason the German squadron did not at- 

io Psychology for the Millions 

tack. It is probable that they had used up too much fuel in the 
chase. In the interim that followed, Sondern, who, during the 
danger had found himself praying for the first time since child- 
hood, said to the tough looking waist-gunner, "Did you pray ?" 
"You're damned right I did," was the answer. And after another 
puff on his cigarette, the gunner added, "Most of us do." 


This spiritual catharsis is nowhere more apparent than in the 
hitherto unprecedented public acknowledgment of the seamy side 
of our national character. Cheating, stealing, and conniving by 
men, women, and children has been placed on the operating table 
and its entrails exposed. By use of the "lie detector" Professor 
Leonard Keeler of Northwestern University caused more than 
sixty percent of the employees in a chain store to confess to pilfer- 
ing small articles. In tracing a bank theft he found that some 
twelve out of fifty clerks were guilty of stealing cash sums. In a 
series of articles on this subject Alva Johnston reports the practices 
of the personnel at a big summer hotel in northern Michigan. The 
majority of the employees confessed that, "they had stolen from 
bedrooms, cheated guests, tapped tills, and raided hotel supplies." 
This description can easily be applied to the personnel of any 
large summer hotel in the United States. 

On the basis of his criminal detection work, Professor Keeler in- 
dicated that, "an average of 62 percent dishonesty exists among 
groups in a position to take small sums without immediate danger 
of being caught." The figure seems to be quite reliable. In a series 
of unparalleled Readers Digest articles, Roger William Riis, fol- 
lowing in the footsteps of the dauntless newspaper crusades of his 
father, Jacob Riis, describes the chiseling thievery rampant among 
automobile, radio, and watch repair men in every one of tht 
forty-eight states. 

Two investigators, John Patric and Miss Lioy May, stopped their 
automobile at 347 garages with an obviously and intentionally dis- 

America Bares Its Body and Soul 1 1 

connected wire. "Sixty-three percent of the garage men took the 
investigators for suckers and charged them for work not needed 
and often not done." In 304 radio repair shops, sixty-four of every 
one hundred tried to gyp the customer for repairs on a radio that 
really needed no fixing other than snapping a wire into place or 
correcting a loose tube. The picture was the same for 226 out of 
462 watchmakers who "lied, overcharged, gave phony diagnoses 
or suggested expensive and unnecessary repairs." 

The scientific method in the discovery of widespread cheating 
was first employed by two psychologists of the Yale Institute of 
Human Relations. Professors Hugh Hartshorne and Mark A. May 
set up situations in which children were sent to the store and given 
excess change. They planned other situations wherein the children 
could copy from a neighbor's paper, change answers in marking 
their own test papers, "peep" in a blindfold game, and were given 
opportunities to steal and lie. It was found that almost all the chil- 
dren were dishonest in at least one of the temptations. Some stole, 
others cheated, many lied, and a number were guilty of all the 
offenses. Experiments and observations were conducted on older 
groups, with similar results. 

The significant part of the psychologists' researches was their 
conclusion that a general trait of honesty or dishonesty does not 
exist. That is, people who were scrupulously honest in one situ- 
ation would not hesitate to lie, steal, or cheat in another, and vice 
versa. From confessionaires it was learned that persons who non- 
chalantly beat the railway company or telephone company, may 
consider it despicable to cheat their corner grocery dealer. In- 
dividuals who wouldn't touch a penny of unattended cash would 
think nothing of taking hotel towels, ash trays, Bibles, or other 


Petty thievery by employees of stamps, petty cash, books, and 
other loose articles common to their employ is frankly acknowl- 
edged in parlor conversations. 

The picture offered by this almost universal admission of lar- 

12 Psychology for the Millions 

ceny is just another phase of our twentieth century, psychologi- 
cally stimulated self-analysis. 

Discovered thievery, that would previously have caused one to 
be hung as a "horse thief," is today good humoredly novelized by 
William Saroyan. His cousin, Mourad, steals a white horse. And 
Saroyan philosophizes or psychologizes in his superbly entertain- 
ing style: "Well it seemed to me stealing a horse for a ride was 
not the same thing as stealing something else, such as money. For 
all I knew, maybe it wasn't stealing at all. If you were crazy about 
the horses the way my cousin Mourad and I were, it wasn't steal- 
ing. It wouldn't become stealing until we offered to sell the horse, 
which of course I knew we would never do." 

Mourad and Aram (Saroyan? Garoghlanian?) enjoy their 
rides, are caught, forgiven, and it makes for delightful reading. 
This modern psychology also makes for longer living. 

The interesting aspect of these disclosures of wholesale dis- 
honesty by chain store employees, bank clerks, hotel workers, 
automobile, radio, and watch repairers, and just about everybody, 
is the fact that they caused no special sermons from our Sunday 
pulpits. No great hue and cry was raised. Editorial rumblings did 
not take place. This attitude of nonchalance may be explained by 
our mental-hygienic psychology. It says in effect: "Everybody has 
some larceny in his make-up. So don't imagine yourself to be 
grossly criminal or sinfully unique because you yielded to tempta- 
tion. You have been caught, it's not nice, correct it. You're not a 
scurrilous creature nor a hopelessly wanton soul. John Doe stole 
change from his mother's purse when he was a boy. Now he is 
[shall we say?] Treasurer of the United States and an entirely 
honest and loyal public servant." 


As has been indicated, modern psychological thought has set 
itself the task of ridding the land of folklorish inhibitions. The 
foregoing are but a few examples of its effects. It might be said 

America Bares Its Body and Soul 1 3 

that the psychological approach has invaded practically every 
phase of modern living. Most often for the better, but sometimes, 
admittedly for the worse. In so far as it will foreshadow a part of 
the contents of this book, it may not be amiss to illustrate a few of 
the multifarious spheres of psychological influence. 

The psychologist's preparation of the soldier to withstand the 
mental onslaughts of battle was only one phase of his war duties. 
The huge testing program of classifying eleven million men was 
conducted by psychologists who formerly taught in college class- 
rooms. Theirs was a program of aptitude testing such as the world 
had never seen. A program that Plato idealizes about in his Re- 
public, written some 400 years B.C., in which he asks "Now is it 
not of the greatest moment that the work of war should be done 
well ? Will it not also require natural endowments suited to this 
particular occupation? 

"Then, apparently, it will belong to us to choose out, if we can, 
that special order of natural endowments which qualifies its pos- 
sessors for the guardianship of the state." 

Not only did the army psychologists choose out those with the 
highest "natural endowments," but they devised more than three 
hundred tests designed "to put the right man in the right place." 

Far surpassing even Plato's ideal of preparedness, the Psycho- 
logical Warfare Branch of the Allied Forces entered the front lines 
and captured men and materials by "fighting with confetti," as 
Fred Painton described it. They dropped thousands of leaflets be- 
hind the German and Italian lines in Tunisia, Sicily, Africa, and 
Normandy. In the Tunisian campaign their strategy brought its 
first great triumph. Italian soldiers by the hundreds began to sur- 
render, holding up leaflets as a safe-conduct. The leaflets were 
"surrender-tickets" worded in the enemy's language giving them 
admission to the American lines. So effective were they that in the 
last days of the Tunisian scrap, the Arabs were said to be running 
a black market in leaflets, "selling them as tickets of surrender to 
Germans as well as Italians." 

14 Psychology for the Millions 

While war propagandizing may have been a new branch of 
psychology, high-pressuring people has long been a psychological 
function. Selling a bill of goods, or an idea, is the job of the ad- 
vertising genius. Psychological conditioning has been the adver- 
tiser's stock in trade. The "conditioning process" is the method by 
which you can be made to like or dislike a thing by its association 
with something lovable or hateful, as the case may be. By this 
method, bread baking companies have made Americans a nation 
of white-bread-eaters. Using the idea of "lily whiteness" to repre- 
sent "purity" they have sold us white bread, which we gobble up, 
never mindful that the natural wheat and unrefined rye is 

I have to smile when I think of Henny Youngman, the stage 
and radio comedian, who humorously intoned about this condi- 
tion. He, it seems, loves his "Jewish rye" and "Russian pumper- 
nickel." Returning to New York from a barnstorming trip to the 
hinterlands, Youngman exclaimed: "Am I glad to get back to 
Broadway. The first thing I'm going to do is go to Lindy's and 
order a plateful of real rye bread and the blackest pumpernickel 
they have." 

White bread, of course, is only one of many over-promoted 
American products. Chewing-gum, cigarettes, vitamins, perfumes, 
deodorants, laxatives, dentifrices, and headache powders are but 
a few items that have been unscrupulously oversold. Happy to 
relate, a counter-campaign is being waged by public spirited 
agencies. Some of our national publications that do not owe their 
survival to fat advertising fees have taken up the cudgels for the 

In the vanguard of the attack against the psycho logics of ruth- 
less advertisers has been the Readers Digest. The cogent titles of 
their articles almost tell the full story. "Lifting the Cigarette Ad 
Smoke Screen," was one of the recent broadsides written by Blake 
Clark. His next piece was aptly headed, "Taking Dentifrice Ads 
to the Cleaners." Mr. Clark points out that the Federal Trade 

America Bares Its Body and Soul 1 5 

Commission found it necessary to issue complaints for misrepre- 
sentation in advertising against the manufacturers of Lucky 
Strike, Camel, Old Gold, and Philip Morris. The makers of Ipana, 
Dr. Lyon's, Calox, Teel, Kolynos, and Squibbs were issued "cease 
and desist orders" against their extravagant promises of sparkling 

That unique non-advertising newspaper in New York, PM, re- 
cently set its Albert Deutsch on the trail of the vitamin advertisers. 
His thunder is too good to pass up. Mr. Deutsch declares: "The 
vitamin-conscious American consumer is being subjected to a 
barrage of bunk and ballyhoo that beats anything since the days 
of Dr. Hokum's Indian Tonic. . . . High pressure promotion 
geniuses are letting their imagination run riot on vitamins." 

In asserting that vitamin capsules are disgracefully oversold and 
overpriced, Mr. Deutsch proves his point by quoting Professor 
McCollum of the Johns Hopkins Medical Center who advises 
that, "if we make a reasonably intelligent selection of foods we 
don't need any synthetic vitamins." 

The obvious insincerity of such money-grabbing, commercial 
persuasiveness has even caused some of the newspapers that live 
on the purchase of advertising space to come over to the people's 
side for a moment or two. Westbrook Pegler, in his best Pulitzer 
prize style, takes to task the perfume advertisers in a syndicated 
newspaper piece titled: "Unfettered Joy in the Perfume Ads." 
Quoting the copywriter's inventions of "My Sin," "Risque," "In- 
discrete," and such, he asks whether they are intended to cause a 
riotous sex orgy in the Stork Club with the waiters and male 
guests chasing the perfumed female. 

From this brief sketch of psychological propagandizing, it is 
obvious that manipulations of the mass mind can be performed 
either for good or evil. To paraphrase a memorable deliverance 
on behalf of the masses, it may be said that psychology can be used 
by the millions, for the millions, or on the millions. 

The liberating trends of present-day behaviour denote psychol- 

16 Psychology for the Millions 

ogy in practice by the people. Given its momentum in the doc- 
trines of scientific psychology, it is this very emancipating aspect 
of "psychology by the people" that holds out the greatest promise 
for more intelligent living. It has given a healthful airing to 
sources of human ignorance stemming from mid-victorian sup- 
pression or pre-scientific armchair dogma and superstition. 

Despite our advancing enlightenment, many medieval hang- 
overs yet becloud our scene. Some of my best friends don't know 
any better than to give credence to astrology, phrenology, palmol- 
ogy, graphology. The endocrine glands are yet ill-conceived as 
magic organs that can be controlled and manipulated. I. Q.'s in 
children are touted, scorned, and little understood. Imbeciles and 
morons are mistakenly classed with the insane by the uninformed. 
Genius and insanity are erroneously linked, and ignorantly 
abused. Mental disease and psychological aberrations, though bet- 
ter understood, retain the hush-hush attitude of yesteryear. The 
position of the child in the modern home shifts with every new 
book the mother reads. 

The relative importance between heredity and environment 
continues to be disputed as if they were two antagonistic forces. 
The existence of instincts in man and animals is a problematic 
question in the mind of those who read. One asks, is there a sixth 
sense or is Dunninger a fake? Freudian theories and psychoanal- 
ysis are alternately worshiped and disdained, but rarely com- 
prehended. The taboos associated with birth-control, masturbation, 
and adolescent petting have created a parental dilemma of misin- 

The popular mind is yet much confused on the problems in- 
herent in these topics. This is due to many reasons, all of which 
center about a lack of proper information, which psychology aims 
to fulfill. 

As a conclusion to this introductory chapter, it may be said 
that psychology has assumed the role of public educator in modern 
living. And to my way of thinking, this is precisely the task of 

America Bares Its Body and Soul 17 

scientific psychology. That I am not alone in this thought, is evi- 
denced by the appearance each year of more than fifty popular 
books related to some phase of psychology and written by reputa- 
ble men of academic standing. 

This book is one of the popular annuals, but with its own pur- 
pose. That is, to give you a mature understanding of life and 
people and by it to help you enjoy this serious business of living. 
The first step in understanding human nature, is an acquaintance 
with the body functions that underly human bchavoir. To these 
body functions we now turn our attention. 

, J 

otte S 



f IOGRAPHICAL tidbits make fascinating reading. They dem- 
onstrate that people of outstanding achievements come, by devious 
routes, to display a variety of skills to the world. Witnessing or 
reading of their accomplishments inspires a natural curiosity about 
the secrets of their skills. With the understanding of these skills 
and accomplishments, psychology is concerned. 

George Gershwin was a roller skating champion when he 
graduated from elementary school. The family bought a second- 
hand piano and engaged a teacher for his brother Ira. But George's 
attraction to music asserted itself at this time and he became the 
pupil. His subsequent fame as a composer of popular American 
music is legend. 

At the age of twenty, Juanita Deisler was taking a business 
course at the University of the City of Los Angeles. Five and a 
half years later she made her appearance in the 1944 edition of 
the Ringling Bros, and Barnum and Bailey Circus as the only 
woman in the world performing the thrilling and dangerous two 
and a half spin in mid-air on the flying trapeze. Before meeting 
her husband, Roy, world famous trapeze artist, she had never 
been more than mildly interested in any form of athletics. 

James Abbott Whistler achieved the fame of becoming one of 

Sensory Champions 19 

America's greatest painters; Whistler's "Mother" is as renowned 
a painting as has come from the hand of any American artist. At 
the age of twenty Whistler was yet a cadet at the West Point 
Military Academy from which he was expelled because of an 
abominable lack of elementary knowledge in chemistry and his- 
tory coupled with an irrepressible sense of humor. 

When she was fifteen, Alice Marble's family decided she was 
spending too much time on baseball. So they gave her a tennis 
racquet. Two years later she won the California junior tennis 
championship. She continued winning championships to become 
the third ranking player in the United States in 1934. In this year 
she collapsed on the courts during an international tennis match 
in Paris. Returned to the United States on a stretcher, suffering 
from secondary anemia, the doctors predicted that Alice Marble 
would never play tennis again. Two years later she became the 
woman's tennis champion of America. In 1945 I saw Miss Marble 
appear as the foremost women's professional on a program of 
tennis competition in connection with the Seventh War Loan 
Bond Sale. 

Gershwin, Deisler, Whistler, and Marble; theirs is the perform- 
ance of genius. All are the possessors of rare talents. How did they 
achieve them ? Were they child prodigies ? Obviously not. None 
showed his skills before adolescence. To what can we attribute 
their genius ? Inherent skills ? Fate ? Diligent training? Unknown 
qualities of personality? Special senses or insights? These are 
questions that psychology attempts to answer. 

To the psychologist, their achievements constitute an extraordi- 
nary display of power and coordination of the visceral, tactual, 
muscular, balancing and auditory senses. The scientist sees in their 
actions a supreme development of sensory organs or "senses" as 
they are commonly called. Their performances represent an amaz- 
ing attainment in the behavioral control of sensory functions. 
Their sensory excellence has made immortals out of mortals. 

To us, who are average or above, sensory behavior is equally 

20 Psychology for the Millions 

vital. Whatever our aspirations, harmony and perfection of sensory 
functions are elemental desires. The fearful, expectant mother 
fervently voices this desire when she says, "I don't care whether 
I have a boy or a girl, good looking or homely, just so long as my 
baby has two eyes, two ears, two hands, two feet, and is a normal 
healthy baby." 

The child's destiny does not end with normalcy at birth. The 
regulation and development of the senses is a lifetime job. You 
must learn to pamper each sense that it may do your bidding. In 
life as ye sow, so shall ye reap. In achievement you are what 
your senses make you. 

Bobby Jones, the only golfer to win the British and American 
amateur and open championships in the same year represents an 
all-around sensory champion. His ability as a golfer has never been 
equalled. His uncanny skill enabled him to regularly drive a 
golf-ball a distance of 200 or 300 yards to within a few yards of a 
four and a quarter inch cup. Seen as a sensory performance eyes 
are on the ball, body balanced, weight distributed, ears deaf to 
sounds in the air; muscles, tendons, and joints are poised in tune 
with the brain to execute his perfect coordination of all the senses. 

Opposed to this athletic highlight of perfection, is the forlorn 
spectacle of the tottering, once famous prizefighter, Willie Jack- 
son. "In his last days he walked with a shuffle peculiar to half- 
paralyzed people. His curly, black haired head would shake in 
nervous spasms. Talking thickly and slowly, he had a hard time 
making himself understood." This is the former heavyweight 
prizefighter, Abe Simon's description of Willie Jackson as he 
looked when Simon first saw him. Abe Simon saw and learned 
about other similar ex-fighters from Dr. Harrison Martland who 
investigated the condition known to the sports world, as "punch 
drunk." In his well written article in Esquire magazine, the former 
heavyweight tells us: "Dr. Martland learned why fighters like 
Willie Jackson, Joe Grim, Jack Dillon, Johnny Tillman, Floyd 

Sensory Champions 21 

Johnson, Freddie Jacks, and many others walk with the tell-tale 
shuffle, suffer a twitching of the face, lose their sense of hearing, 
feeling, speech, and even sight. It was from ruptured blood vessels 
exerting a pressure against nerve centers within the brain." 

As Jones, the former golf champion, represents sensory health 
and control, so, unfortunate Willie Jackson, the ex-fighter, mirrors 
sensory breakdown. 

Between these two extremes the world of functional behavior 
passes in review. And at the core of the behavior is the function 
of the senses. 

By dint of this importance, psychologists have given first place 
to the exploration of the sensory organs or the senses. Combining 
their efforts with physiologists (that group of biological and 
medical scientists who ferret out the functions of organs), psy- 
chologists have given us an abundance of information on sensory 
organs and sensory behavior. Experiments have been conducted 
to supply answers to questions such as: How do humans hear? 
Why arc some persons hard of hearing? How do humans see? 
Why can some see better than others? Why are some persons color 
blind? Why are some persons musically inclined? What is ab- 
solute pitch? How do we distinguish hot and cold? What does 
taste have to do with good wines and poor coffee? Why do persons 
lose their balance? How do people J^eep their balance? Why do 
we get dizzy? What is hunger? W hat is thirst? What is sex? Why 
are some more passionate than others? What is pain? Why can 
some stand pain better than others? What causes sleep? 

Let us explore the answers to these and related questions by 
learning how the senses work. 


The senses or sensory organs are your receiving stations; they 
are thus technically termed receptors. Everything you experience, 
karn, think, remember, imagine, or do, comes to you by way of 

22 Psychology for the Millions 

one or more sensory organs. Each sensory organ specializes in 
receiving particular kinds of stimuli. Eyes receive light; ears, 
sound; nose, odors; tongue, flavor, etc. 

It used to be thought that man had only the Biblical five senses 
of seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching. Science has 
shown that there are many more. Nor do we mean to imply that 
the elusive sixth sense of intuition or mental telepathy has been 
found. At present we can distinguish eleven senses. In addition 
to the traditional five, psychologists list a sense of heat, a sense of 
cold, a sense of pain, a sense of equilibrium, a kinesthetic sense, 
and a visceral sense. Let us briefly review the mechanism and evi- 
dence for these separate senses that are psychologically so all- 
important in governing our behavior. 


To produce a sensation, a sense organ such as the eye, ear, or 
tongue, must be stimulated. To receive the stimulation, the sense 
organ or sensory tissue has an end plate or receiving surface. This 
end plate is really the end of a nerve. The nerve in turn has its 
path from the sense organ, through the spinal cord, to a particu- 
lar area in the brain that specializes in receiving such sensations. 
For example, sound is known to consist of wave impulses in the 
air. Sound waves presumably hit your entire body, but the end 
plate or receiving surface of the nerve for hearing is located in 
the inner ear. This sensory organ thus receives and transmits 
sound by way of the auditory nerve to the hearing center in the 

In a similar fashion smell sensations are received by cells far 
back in the nose and transmitted by the olfactory nerve to its area 
in the brain. Sensations of light are received by the eye and sent 
through the optic nerve to the visual area of the brain. Sensations 
of taste are received by taste buds on the tongue and palate and 
carried by several gustatory nerve fibers to the taste center in the 

Sensory Champions 23 

The conventionally recognized senses of sight, audition, smell 
and taste are well known and require little proof of their existence 
as separate senses. However, the lesser known senses that required 
us to enlarge our ancient concept of five, are not so obvious, 


In the skin where the former sense of touch was thought to 
prevail, we now distinguish four individual senses pressure, pain, 
warmth, and cold. The sense of pressure is that which is commonly 
considered the touch sensation. 

Employing a heated or cooled metal stylus for hot and cold and 
a light bristle for pressure, psychologists, in laboratory experi- 
ments, map out the respective sensitive spots on any area of skin. 
In this way the skin area of the entire body has been examined 
from the big toe to the scalp. 

In the experiments the subject keeps his eyes closed. As the 
examiner uses the hot or cold stylus or the bristle, the subject re- 
ports sensations of warmth, coolness, or touch, as he feels them. 
By this method it has been shown that in any given part of the 
skin, minute spots react to hot, cold, or touch stimulation specifi- 
cally. Various areas of the body are shown to have characteristically 
greater or fewer hot, cold, and touch sensitive spots per unit area. 

In touch, for example, the finger tips, lips, and scalp prove to 
be the most sensitive parts of the body, while the lower leg and 
upper arm have the least number of pressure spots per area. 

The relatively small number of hot and cold sensitive spots on 
the skin, calf, and back, explains the ability of women to dress 
as they do. Were it not for this lower temperature sensitivity in 
these areas, silk stockings and backless gowns might disappear 
in the winter. 

To lend support to these findings, the late Dr. Logan Clenden- 
ning, in his delightfully readable book, The Human Body, cites 
a curious disease called syringomyelia. Describing this disease 
which affects the spinal cord, he says, "In this condition it is found 

24 Psychology -for the Millions 

that, over parts of the skin surface, the sensitiveness to touch is 
retained, but there are lost the sense of heat and the sense of cold. 
Patients with the disease may lean up against hot stoves and sus- 
tain bad burns without feeling any pain." 

Separating the sense of pain from pressure we might add to 
Dr. Clendenning's report the extremely interesting experience of 
the heavyweight prizefighter, Abe Simon, as related by himself in 
his Esquire article. We quote: "My peculiar physical and gland- 
ular structure is such that I have never felt any pain from punches 
while in the ring. With all honesty, I can say that no fighter ever 
hurt me, and that includes both fights with Joe Louis. Through- 
out my life I have never felt a finger-sprain or bruised body until 
two or three days after an accident. I don't ever remember saying 
'ouch' when I bumped my head or stubbed a toe. The pain, if 
any, always came two or three days later when the injured area 
began to heal." 


In this same article we come to the next sense; that of equilib- 
rium or balance. "The force of Joe Louis' blows would upset my 
balance, possibly by affecting the balancing mechanism within 
my head, but I felt no actual pain from the punches." 

Abe Simon is correct about his balance being disturbed by a 
specific mechanism. This mechanism consists of the three semi- 
circular canals which are located in the inner portion of the ear, 
sometimes called the labyrinth. The semicircular canals are filled 
with a liquid. They are placed perpendicular to each othei so that 
movement of the head in any direction stimulates them. The end 
plates or receptors for the sense of equilibrium are contained 
within the canals. They have a separate nerve track to the brain. 
These nerve impulses are closely tied up with the sense of vision. 
This is easily recognized by the fact that it is more difficult to 
maintain balance with one's eyes closed. 

When the nerve endings of the semicircular canals are dis- 

Sensory Champions ' 25 

turbed you become dizzy or lose your sense of equilibrium. The 
loss of balance that the novice experiences after a twirling tango 
is due to overworked semicircular canals. Dancers, figure skaters, 
aerialists, and other twirling performers condition their sense of 
equilibrium to such body gyrations only by constant practice. 

Feelings of nausea and vomiting and visual disturbances are 
known to be closely connected through the nervous system with 
the sense of equilibrium. The combination of such disturbance is 
seen at its best in the seasick voyager. 

An extremely interesting example of this sensory interaction 
was related to me by Frank Torrence of the star circus team of 
Victoria and Torrence. He and his wife Victoria, who recently 
met with a tragic accident, gave an incredulously hazardous per- 
formance of breath taking aerial dramatics and acrobatics high 
in the dome of Madison Square Garden or wherever the circus 
hangs its dome. Performing whirlwind gyrations at blood curdling 
heights both of them were able to master any tendency toward 
dizziness, nausea, and blackout. Stunting and gazing about at a 
height of 80 feet, Frank Torrence stated, leaves him calm and com- 
posed. As he whirled Victoria at a dizzying speed of 130 revolu- 
tions per minute he would talk to her, helping her to remain in 
complete control of her body position. But when Frank Torrence 
crosses the ocean below the deck of a ship he becomes violently 
seasick. On deck where he can look about him, seasickness does 
not disturb Mr. Torrence. As for Victoria, this tall, slender, Vien- 
nese beauty who defied the laws of equilibrium, she stated in a 
brief conversation shortly before the performance in which she 
met her death, "I can only do this by will power and concentra- 
tion every second that I am in the air." 

The familiar sight of the reeling and staggering drunk is an 
example of a disturbed sense of equilibrium. This state is due to 
the absorption of the alcohol, which acts as a toxin or poison to 
the sensory nerve endings that control balance. The sense of dizzi- 
ness that comes with sickness or infection is explained as an in- 

26 Psychology for the Millions 

flammation of the semicircular canal nerves, thus interfering with 
their normal function. 


Closely interacting with the sense of equilibrium is the tynes- 
thetic sense. The combination of impulses from your muscles, 
tendons, and joints go to make up this sense of Anesthesia. You 
rely on this sense to develop coordination of your body movements 
in walking, running, jumping, skating, dancing, swimming, etc. 
It is this sense that is primarily responsible for the athlete's "feel" 
of his muscular or body control. This sense, more than any other, 
is the one that the athlete develops to such a high degree. The 
kinesthetic sense is usually developed in connection with the senses 
of balance and vision to give the star athletic and gymnastic per- 
formers their phenomenal abilities of timing and muscle coordina- 

Many fans and coaches viewing the split-second perfection of 
movement in athletes, often believe that it is a "gift" or a "natural 
instinct." However, closer investigation of the performer's his- 
tory will inevitably show laborious hours, days, and months which 
turn into years of practice. To cite a typical example: 

Mort Luby describes Johnny Crimmins, voted "Bowler of the 
Year" in 1942. "He operates wholly by instinct. Gtfted with a sub- 
conscious 'feel' for doing the right thing at the right time, Johnny 
is able to sense at that last instant before releasing the ball just 
where his line to the pocket is and what he should do to keep his 
ball on that line." Further on in the same article we learn from 
where the "gift" and "instinct" came. 

"For thirty years now the game has been the very essence of 
life to Crimmins. He has lived and breathed bowling ever since 
he was a skinny, gangling, sixteen-year-old towhead, spotting 
young logs at Lou Quier's two-alley haunt on Toledo's La Grange 
street back in 1913." * 

Now this does not mean to imply that natural-born or gifted 

Sensory Champions 27 

athletes do not exist. As shall be indicated later, there are many 
champions who owe their success to inherited qualities. What I 
do wish to point out, is that expert timing and coordinational 
abilities resulting from long and intense practice are too often 
mistaken as gifts or natural talents. 


"I feel hungry. I feel thirsty. I feel nauseous. I feel fatigue. I feel 
passionate." These are expressions voicing the presence of certain 
sensations. We have learned to recognize them by certain familiar 
bodily impulses. They have nerve endings which pick up the 
message or feeling of hunger, thirst, nausea, fatigue and passion. 
And they have a place in the brain where they register their feel- 
ing. All of which makes us believe that these feelings originate 
from sensory organs. At present, they are grouped by psychologists 
into what is known as visceral or organic senses, although truth- 
fully, we do not have enough exact knowledge about them as such. 

Be they sense organs or not, they do exist as individual body 
sensations. And we have the evidence for them. Representing 
hunger, thirst, passion, nausea, and fatigue their gratification re- 
quires food, drink, sex, vomiting, and sleep. Some rather ingenious 
experimenters have demonstrated their presence as internal ten- 
sions and described them to us. 


The famous endocrinologist, Dr. Walter B. Cannon, first showed 
that feelings of hunger coincided with strong stomach contrac- 
tions. Through the mouth he introduced a rubber balloon into 
his subject's stomach. This was connected by a long thin tube to 
a device which recorded the contractions of the stomach. When- 
ever the subject felt a pang of hunger he pressed a key which 
recorded his feeling on the same device as for stomach contrac- 
tions. The results showed that in every case the feelings of hunger 
coincided with maximum stomach contractions. 

28 Psychology for the Millions 

Performing the most extensive experiments in this field, Dr. 
A. J. Carlson found that hunger periods usually last for about 40 
minutes. Some continue for only 6 minutes and others for as much 
as i^ hours. Observing one person during a five day fast, Dr. 
Carlson reported that the hunger contractions did not diminish 
in all the time. But the feeling of hunger became less after the 
third day. Over prolonged periods the desire for food may pass 
completely. Dr. Carlson found that smoking, tightening the belt, 
taking water, and strenuous exercise were effective in checking 
the hunger contractions of the stomach. 

Using the same procedure as Dr. Cannon, Miss Tomi Wada 
found that persons become more active when they are hungry. 
Even in sleep, hunger contractions are accompanied by greater 
body activity. She also learned that when hunger sets in, her sub- 
jects could exert greater strength than when satiated with food. 
And on intellectual tests, it was shown that persons did better 
when somewhat hungry than on a full stomach. So, if you want to 
think better and show greater strength on an examination, the 
moral is, eat little. 


"We were beginning to notice a dryness of our tongues and 
throats. There was no moisture coming from our salivary glands, 
and a withered feeling in our mouths made it hard to swallow. 

"Though we were not yet suffering greatly from thirst, we 
knew our systems must be craving water, and we were worried." 

This is Harold Dixon's description of his sense of thirst on the 
fourth day adrift in The Raft with Tony Pastula and Gene Aldrich. 
His description is as accurate as one will find in any textbook. To 
make it complete he need but have added that the salivary glands 
were dry because of the lack of water content in their blood. And 
that the dryness of the throat was felt through nerve endings in 
this area which transmitted their sensation to the brain. 

This trio of wrecked Navy fliers were to know the decimating 

Sensory Champions 29 

torture of combined hunger and thirst. They miraculously lived 
to tell their tale after drifting in a rubber raft for 34 days, at times 
without food, clothes, or water. Their tale of human fortitude is 
grippingly told in Robert TrumbulFs story of their adventure, 
The Rait. And the accurate account of their hunger and thirst 
experiences are valuable additions to our knowledge of sensory 


The existence of the sex impulse in mankind is legend. Poets, 
philosophers, sociologists, law makers, moralists, dramatists, his- 
torians, educators, scientists, and cultists of every description have 
taken a hand in attempting to fathom the secret of the sex im- 
pulse. But to the physiologist and the experimental psychologist 
its existence is merely a matter of glands, organs and nerves. 

The male and female sex organs, stimulated by a secretion from 
the pituitary gland, secrete hormones which influence the develop- 
ment of sex characteristics and general activity. Cut out these 
organs and you eliminate the sex impulse. Castration of a male 
results in a eunuch of neutral gender who neither desires nor is 
capable of sex activity. 

Manuel Komroff in Two Thieves weaves a number of amus- 
ing incidents around the relationship between the eunuch Zozo 
and the beautiful Greek girls of his master's harem. Two of these 
lovelies take a mischievous pleasure in harassing the sexless Zozo 
by parading their sensuous and curvaceous nude bodies before him. 
In Zozo's own words, "I am without manhood and being without 
the men laugh at me and the women in the harem torture me 
with cuckolding and cozzying tricks." 

If by some method the secretions of the sex or endocrine glands 
and organs are increased then sex desire and maturity is increased. 
Such a case is presented in the "Infant Hercules" type with com- 
plete sexual maturity as early as three to four years of age. A spec- 
tacular example of precocious sexual maturity is the recent case 

30 Psychology for the Millions 

of the Peruvian girl, Latina Medina. At the age of five this child 
gave birth to a baby. The last medical reports indicate that the 
mother and child at the age of ten and five respectively, are doing 

In the matter of increased sex desire and potency, the experi- 
ments of Dr. Eugen Steinach of Austria are medical history. This 
searcher has been termed a medical Ponce de Leon. His experi- 
ments aimed at renewing sexual power in men and women ordi- 
narily beyond the age of potency. The recent announcement of 
Dr. Steinach's death included descriptions of his experiments on 
transplanting sex glands from young to old and injections of sex 
hormones. These frequently gave astounding results of reactivated 
sexual power. Acting as personal guinea pig for his theories, the 
white bearded physician was a living example of the success of 
his methods. He took hormone injections regularly, and at the 
age of 82 "he was a robust horseman, and a glutton for work, 
usually rising at 7:30 A.M. and retiring no earlier than 1:30 A.M." 

Paul de Kruifs recent book, The Male Sex Hormone, is the 
first popular American work to add supportive testimony to the 
findings of the European pioneers in this field. 


Nausea and its associated vomiting have their own center in 
the brain. Physiologists have located a vomiting center in the 
medulla. They know this because destruction of this center in 
the medulla makes the act of vomiting impossible. The mechanism 
of vomiting is a well oiled, foolproof arrangement. As soon as 
vomiting starts, a deep breath is taken, and the air tube and nasal 
passages are automatically closed, thus preventing the possibility 
of choking; the swallowing tube and the top opening of the 
stomach relax, while the diaphragm and abdominal muscles con- 
tract, making possible the purging performance. 

Stimulation of the impulses to the vomit center can occur in 
many ways and can originate in many parts of the body. We know 

Sensory Champions 31 

that certain substances act as a reflex in stimulating nausea and 
the vomiting center. Thus mustard, salt water, copper sulphate, 
tartar, and ipecac are well known emetics. Severe pain, strong 
emotion, or strong impulses in the sense of smell, taste, or sight 
may cause vomiting. As we noted previously, over-stimulation of 
the semicircular canals is largely responsible for seasickness. 

The nausea and vomiting of pregnancy is due to increased irri- 
tation of the center. Dr. V. J. Harding explains that the condition 
is due to the fetus taking the carbohydrate and fluids from the 
mother, leaving a mild acid condition. The mother's distaste for 
food aggravates the carbohydrate and fluid lack and increases the 
acidosis, thereby creating the well known vicious cycle of preg- 
nancy nausea. For correction, Dr. Harding advises eating a lot of 
carbohydrates, drinking more fluid, and plenty of rest. 

Mild stimulation of the pharynx or tonsils causes vomiting. An 
insufficient supply of oxygen in the blood is known to cause moun- 
tain sickness manifested by nausea and vomiting. And although 
we have no evidence there may be some such physiological ex- 
planation for the common condition of car sickness. By many this 
is thought to be purely psychological. However, this writer is in- 
clined to feel that it has a physiological basis as yet undetermined. 

From the foregoing it is obvious that the nausea and vomiting 
impulse is stimulated in various ways. In fact, reading what has 
just been written may well act as such a stimulus. 


As hunger requires food; thirst, fluid; nausea, vomiting; pas- 
sion, sex; so the feeling of fatigue or drowsiness requires sleep as 
a response to its needs. 

By experiments we have been able to learn many facts about 
human activity during sleep. We know for example that during 
sleep your blood pressure, pulse rate, metabolism, temperature, 
respirations and muscle activities are greatly reduced. At the same 
time the reflexes are more active. The secretions of the sweat glands 

32 Psychology for the Millions 

arc greatly increased. The rate of digestion continues normally and 
the contractions of the empty stomach may even increase. 

Despite our experimental findings we do not as yet understand 
the body mechanism by which sleep is produced. If we did, the 
knowledge might help to overcome insomnia. Several theories for 
the explanation of the physiology of sleep have received attention. 
They fall into three groups: blood circulation theories, chemistry 
of body tissues, and presence of a sleep center in the brain activated 
by nervous system impulses. 

The blood circulation theory ascribes sleep to a reduction of 
blood in the head area as it shifts to the stomach and other internal 
parts. The chemical theories hold that fatigue products such as 
lactic acid in the tissues act to depress the function of the brain. 
The nervous system theory claims that a sleep center exists in the 
brain which when stimulated causes sleep. 

In support of the sleep center in the brain there is the recent 
work of psychiatrists on electrically induced sleep. At a meeting 
of the American Psychiatric Association a group of California 
physicians told of treating mental patients with mild seven-minute 
sleep treatments. Their method is different from the electro-shock 
therapies previously introduced. The California group calls 
the sleep, "electro-narcosis." The sleep is induced by electrodes 
and mild current applied to the head. They have given more than 
one thousand of these seven-minute deep sleep treatments without 
any bad effects. 

One of the most revealing and interesting bits of evidence against 
the chemical and blood circulation theories of sleep is presented 
by the unusual case of coalescent twins born in Moscow, Russia. 
The attached twins, Galya and Ira, had two heads, four arms, one 
body, one rectum, one penis and two legs. Before their death the 
twins were kept alive for one year under the constant care and 
observation of doctors at the Ail-Union Institute of Medicine in 

In her report on this rare anomaly, Miss Helen Block, in the 

Sensory Champions 33 

Journal of Heredity states, "The conclusions arrived at from the 
study of the twins are very valuable to science, especially the dis- 
covery that the origin of sleep is not connected with the blood 
stream. This was proven by the fact that one twin would sleep, 
while the other lay awake." Autopsy after death showed that the 
twins had one common circulatory or blood system but two sepa- 
rate spinal columns or nervous systems. Thus, if sleep was pro- 
duced by some change in the blood stream, these coalescent twins 
with a single blood system would always sleep and awaken to- 
gether. But such was not the case. 

Thus far we have familiarized ourselves with the body me- 
chanics of the senses for seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smell- 
ing, feeling, balancing, thirsting, hungering, sleeping, and loving. 
Recognizing their role in the human make-up, it is only natural to 
ask: Why do people differ so radically in the function of these 
senses ? and What is the origin of these differences ? 

While the next three chapters are specifically devoted to answer-- 
ing these questions, every other page of this book will have some 
bearing on them. For in essence, the problem posed by these queries 
is : Why and how do people get to be what they are ? 

uC\p < ^\C k- "* 
& c 



THE sensory organs determine your capabilities so too 
they are responsible for human limitations. In the event that some 
of them fail to function you may be blind, hard-of-hearing, mute, 
or disjointed. If their function reaches the zenith of perfection 
you may become a concert artist, sports champion, renowned sci- 
entist, or an artistic genius. 

How do these limits operate ? and What determines them ? asks 
the psychologist. 

In other words, we have said that the function of the senses is 
responsible for the extreme variations in human behavior and 
abilities, and the question that follows is: What is responsible for 
the function of the senses ? The answer is found in human nature, 
heredity, and training influences. 

To put it differently, the function of the senses, or your capabili- 
ties are determined by the fact that you are human, by the nature 
of your relatives present and past, and by the influences in your 
particular environment that act upon you. 

There are limitations upon your sensory functions by reason of 
the fact that you are human. Being a member of the species known 
as homo sapiens has its disadvantages as well as advantages. There 
are many performances, for instance, which animals can easily 
accomplish that humans can't even approach. Blood hounds can 
ferret out escaped convicts hiding in the woods in the absolute 

* Title adapted from Amram Schcinfcld's book by the same name* 

"You and Heredity" 35 

darkness of night. Can you ? Blind bats can fly around in the dark 
without hitting obstacles experimentally planted in their path. 
The Alaska salmon can find its way back to the river to spawn 
where it was born after spending its lifetime of three or more years 
some three hundred miles away in the ocean. Birds migrate from 
up North to down South unescorted on their very first seasonal 
jaunt. We have difficulty even following a road map to Miami. 
Owls can see in the darkness of the woods. Dogs on sentry duty in 
the Army spot intruders several hundred yards away while mili- 
tary sentries are yet oblivious of any human presence. 

These amazing animal behaviors used to be explained away by 
calling them animal instincts. However, within recent years ex- 
perimental scientists have found the answers for some of this 
phenomenal animal behavior in the sensory mechanisms of these 
animals. We will review the scientific explanations in a later chap- 
ter after greater acquaintance with the variations of these senses 
in man. 


Further limitations upon your capabilities are due to the factors 
of inheritance. That the size, shape and appearance of your sensory 
organs is determined by heredity is generally agreed. The color of 
your skin is easily traced to your parents. Red hair, true blond 
hair, kinky hair, and no hair are known to be handed down. The 
size of your mouth, the shape of your lips, and the spacing of your 
teeth are parental endowments. A firm jaw, stubby hands, big feet, 
big bones, and little bones all come from your ancestors. 

Parents with big ears and noses bear children with similar pro- 
tuberances. Professor Whitney of the University of Nebraska tells 
us that you even inherit the characteristic rim and lobe of your 
ear. You can have a wide rolled rim, a medium rolled rim, or a 
narrow rolled rim, according to what your mother and father 
have. You may have a big ear lobe or a small one, an attached lobe 
or a free lobe, a thick lobe or a thin lobe, whatever predominates 

36 Psychology for the Millions 

in the family. As for your nose, the bridge, the size, the nature of 
the nostrils, and the tip are shaped by mama and papa and the 
plastic surgeon. The tip can be bulbous, square, round, turned up, 
or hanging down. What'll you have ? The size, shape, and color 
of your eyes are well known family matters. 

All these hereditary facts can be neatly summed up by the 
adage, "like tends to beget like." 

Not only is it true that you inherit the structure of these sensory 
organs but it appears that their function or efficiency is also based 
on heredity. This is equivalent to saying that certain forms of 
behavior as structure are largely determined by heredity. 

Now it is easy to prove the inheritance of size and shape of 
organs by a tape measure and close-up photographs. But it is not 
so easy to show the influence of heredity in the matter of skills, 
abilities, and performances which are in turn based on these sen- 
sory organs. If you have long ears, we have but to measure the 
size of your father's and grandfather's ears to find their origin. 
However, if you are a bowling champion and your father and 
grandfather are barbers who never saw a bowling ball, we experi- 
ence some difficulty in proving the hereditary contributions to your 
bowling skill. Nevertheless, by determining which senses are em- 
ployed in certain performances we have been able to learn a great 
deal about the role of heredity in human behavior as it is influenced 
by the function of these senses. 


Some persons will be naturally inclined to achieve greatness, 
while others will be doomed to failure in some fields because of 
their inherited sensory mechanisms. Biographies such as those 
cited at the beginning of Chapter Two are sometimes used to illus- 
trate the truth of this statement. The extraordinary talents ex- 
hibited by James Whistler, George Gershwin, Juanita Deisler, 
and Alice Marble, despite their relatively late starts, are the kinds 
of testimony offered to prove that "genius will out." 

"You and Heredity" 37 

Most often, however, the proofs for inherited genius consist of 
examples of child prodigies. These personalities spring up with 
diverse talents to amaze their neighbors in many lands by their 
prodigious infant capabilities. 

Born in Barcelona, Spain, Xavier Cugat, the bandleader, is to- 
day known as the "king of the rumba." He started to play the 
violin at the age of five. When he was fifteen he was featured as a 
concert violinist accompanying the world famous Caruso on a 
tour to America. 

The late Thomas "Fats" Waller was known to mugg and jive as 
he played his jazz on the piano at Harlem night spots in New 
York City, where he was born. What his fans do not know, is that 
he was a gifted organist, pianist, and composer at the tender age 
of ten. 

Born at Cologne on the Rhine, Max Ernst is one of the best 
known of contemporary painters living in America. The son of 
an amateur, realist painter, he produced a series of drawings at 
the age of five. Without any previous art school training, he 
started to earn his living as an artist when he was invalided home 
from service in the first World War. 

Given a pair of ice skates for the first time at her eighth birth- 
day, Sonja Henie won the Oslo junior competition in figure skat- 
ing when she was nine. At the age of eleven, she won the Nor- 
wegian championship. 

"A voice like hers comes once in a century," said Arturo Tos- 
canini, when he first heard Marion Anderson sing. This charming 
Negro virtuoso has transcended bigoted racial barriers with her 
enthralling voice to become one of the most popular box office at- 
tractions of our day. Untrained and untutored, she helped to sup- 
port her family by singing at church concerts at the age of twelve. 

These celebrated artists hail from a variety of professions. They 
represent music, painting, athletics, and singing. Their birthplace 
is equally diverse; including Barcelona, New York, Cologne, Oslo, 
and Philadelphia. But they all had something in common. This 

38 Psychology for the Millions 

something appears to be a birth gift. That is, each of them was 
gifted to some extent with the talents through which they gained 
their renown. Xavier Cugat's fiddling, Max Ernst's painting, 
Spnja Henie's skating, and Marion Anderson's singing; all gained 
early recognition without the benefit of arduous practice and pro- 
fessional guidance ordinarily required for accomplishments such 
as they manifested in childhood. Of course, in achieving their 
national recognition success was not unattended by diligent toil. 
However, the ease of their early attainments without undue effort, 
represents unmistakable evidence of hereditary endowment. 


It is not necessary to rely solely on popular evidence to learn 
the heredity nature of sensory capacities. Scientific psychology and 
studies on heredity have both contributed to the problem. Pro- 
fessor Carl E. Seashore of the University of Iowa pioneered in the 
field of hearing with his studies on musical aptitude. Separating 
musical auditory capacities into what he considered its elements- 
pitch, time, intensity, consonance, rhythm, and tonal memory- 
he devised a series of phonograph records to test these abilities. 

Professors Carl Seashore, John Kwalwasser, Hazel Stanton, Jon 
Alfred Mjoen and J. Philiptschenko gave these tests and variations 
of them, to thousands of musicians, would-be musicians, and 
people at large. They found that musical training affected the 
test scores only to a slight extent. Therefore, these experimenters 
concluded that, "an inheritance factor is present in the capabili- 
ties that people show in these musical traits." They further 
demonstrated that abilities in the various musical traits are not 
necessarily related. That is, you may have a good sense of rhythm 
and a poor sense of pitch, or an excellent sense of time may be ac- 
companied by a poor sense of harmony. 

It might also be added that an inherited aptitude in all of these 
traits does not insure musical excellence or talent, as it is called. 

"You and Heredity" 39 

Training and laborious hours of practice are factors that every 
accomplished musician will endorse as absolute necessities. 


A rather interesting investigation is one performed and reported 
by Amram Scheinfeld in his excellent book, You and Heredity. 
He gathered information on the musical talents of the parents, 
brothers, and sisters of such musical greats as Arturo Toscanini, 
Lawrence Tibbett, Artur Rubinstein, Gladys Swarthout, Grace 
Moore, Lily Pons, Yehudi Menuhin, Lauritz Melchior, Mischa 
Elman, and more than one hundred others of outstanding talent. 

Scheinfeld divided his 122 musical families of singers, instru- 
mentalists, and Juilliard students into three groups according to 
whether both parents, one parent, or none of the parents were 
musical. Thus, in Scheinfeld's own words, "if musical talent is 
produced by genes, this should be evident: Where both parents 
are musical, we should expect a higher incidence of musical talent 
in their children than if only one parent is musical, and where one 
parent is talented there should be more talented offspring than 
where neither parent is talented." These are his conclusions : 

"Where both parents were talented, in most matings one-half 
to three-fourths of the children were talented. 

"Where only one parent was talented, in most matings one-half 
of the children were talented. 

"Where neither parent was talented, the average of talented 
off-spring was one-fourth or less." 

Thus we see from this experiment that heredity plays an im- 
portant part in producing talented musicians. The results show 
that the greater the amount of musical ability in the parents the 
greater the number of musical children. 

These are statistical results based on the science of heredity or 
"genetics" as it is called. Genetic studies on peas and pods arc 
plentiful. Studies on humans are difficult to carry out. Geneticists 

4O Psychology for the Millions 

don't live long enough, humans don't propagate fast enough, and 
people can't be treated like peas and pods in a convenient back 
garden. Nevertheless, Scheinfeld's study, in which he was as- 
sisted by Dr. Morton D. Schweitzer, research geneticist at Cornell 
University, is a valuable contribution to our knowledge of the in- 
heritance of musical traits. 

The reader, unfamiliar with the mathematics of the laws of he- 
redity, may justifiably ask "What about the hundreds of talented 
parents with untalented children, and the children of genius born 
of ordinary parents?" 

Well aware of such cases, Scheinfeld tells of Arturo Toscanini, 
born in a humble home in Italy. His father a tailor and his mother 
an unpretentious homebody. Yehudi Menuhin's father can't read 
a note and his mother has no special musical talent. Artur Rubin- 
stein, the great pianist, was born in a poor home in Warsaw 
where no member of the family played a musical instrument. On 
the other side Scheinfeld cites Efrem Zimbalist married to the 
famous singer Alma Gluck. Neither of their two children has 
talent. Joseph Lhevinne the pianist, whose wife is also a concert 
artist, reports that only one of their two children is talented. 

These cases and the many other similar situations do not in any 
way conflict with the hereditary pictwes. Their explanation lies 
in the laws of heredity which indicate that children inherit 
parental traits in certain arithmetic ratios. The exact ratios are de- 
pendent upon the nature of the traits. 

This evidence of heredity in producing talented musicians must 
not be misinterpreted. It indicates that persons inherit certain 
special qualities in their hearing senses. They do not inherit the 
musical abilities themselves, such as piano playing or fiddling. The 
inherited qualities, as you will recall from Professor Seashore's 
work, apply to exceptional hearing abilities described as musical 
pitch, time, intensity, consonance, rhythm, and tone, which in 
turn, enable them to reach musical heights. 

In the same way that these musical hearing qualities arc in- 

"You and Hereditf 41 

herited, simple hearing abilities or acuities seem to be inherited. 
Thus, you will find entire families that are hard of hearing in 
adulthood. Medical figures show that between fifteen and twenty 
percent of the cases of deafness are hereditary. Deafness that runs 
in families does not always appear at birth. It often shows itself by 
poor hearing in childhood progressing to marked or total deafness 
in adulthood. 


Physiologists, psychologists, and geneticists have joined their 
efforts to demonstrate that the ability to see colors is inherited. The 
proof is based on the fact that color blindness has been shown to 
have a sex-linked hereditary basis. 

By "sex-linked," we mean that the gene (those little hereditary 
trait carriers) for color blindness is carried in the same chromo- 
some (the hereditary structure that carries genes) that gives rise 
to the female sex. Biologists have labeled it the X chromosome. If 
in mating, two X's unite, the result will be a girl. If an X com- 
bines with a Y chromosome, it will yield a boy. Thus the sex-linked 
recessive trait for color blindness is kept by a female in her genes, 
but reproduced in the eyes of the unlucky male. This is so because 
the trait or gene for normal color vision is only carried in the X 
chromosome. When two X's combine to make a female, if one X 
contains color blindness, the other X, usually normal, cancels it 
out. In the coincidence of a female who inherits color blindness in 
both of her X chromosomes, we get the rare case of a color blind 

In the case of males made up of X and Y, if the X happens to 
carry color blindness, the Y does not cancel it out. Thus sex-linked 
traits such as color blindness, hemophilia (bleeders), and baldness, 
are carried by the female to appear in the male primarily, and in 
the female rarely. This explains why there are so many bald 
headed men and so few sparse haired women. It also implies that 
if you want to know whether you will be bald, or want to know 

42 Psychology for the Millions 

the origin of your present baldness, you should check on your 
mother's brothers, your maternal grandfather, your maternal 
grandmother's brothers, and perhaps your mother. 

Other visual endowments that we can often blame on heredity 
are the common conditions of "near-sightedness," "far-sighted- 
ness" and "astigmatism." To be convinced of this uncommon bit 
of information, you need but look around in your own circle of 
acquaintances. Do you not know many children between the ages 
of five and twelve who are wearing glasses to correct faulty vision ? 
On the other hand, is it not a safe bet that you can name many 
adults who have spent twenty-five years at close eye-work who do 
not yet require glasses ? 

Florence Flack, in a master's thesis, confirms the fact that near- 
sightedness can be inherited. She presents information on several 
generations of myopia in families. She points out that in the gen- 
eral population only eight percent of near-sighted persons show 
their defect before the age of ten, whereas every one of the cases in 
the fourth generation of the families studied by her, showed their 
near-sightedness before the age of ten. 

The condition of strabismus, commonly called "cross-eye," is 
also found to have a hereditary basis. In a study of this condition 
among four families, Luther S. West of Northern State Teachers 
College, indicates that strabismus may be inherited in several ways. 
After tracing its appearance in the family trees of these four 
families, he concludes that it may be inherited as a dominant, re- 
cessive, or sex-linked trait. 

Another eye defect that several investigators have shown to be 
hereditary, is the condition termed nystagmus. This is a peculiar 
rolling of the eyes either back and forth or up and down. It is 
sometimes accompanied by a twitching of the head. It is com- 
monly found present in persons with inherited albinism, that 
peculiar condition which occurs as an absence of pigment in the 

In a recent examination of school children in Wisconsin, Dr. 

"You and Hereditf 43 

Mary Allen reported on the family histories of four children af- 
flicted with the nystagmic rolling of their eyes. She concluded that 
the condition is inherited as a dominant trait and that it originates 
as a defect somewhere in the nervous system. She stated further 
that poor eyesight accompanying this condition should be cor- 
rected in the same manner as in cases without the defect. 

All this inheritance does not of course rule out the beneficial or 
harmful effects on vision resulting from proper use or unwise 
abuse of the eyes. It does indicate however, that the mating of two 
"cross-eyed" parents will most likely yield "cross-eyed" offspring. 


The inheritance of sensitivities in the skin has been demon- 
strated in the field of allergy. Here, our medical specialists assure 
us that certain individuals whose skin breaks out in a rash because 
of contact with poison ivy, does so because of an inherited tend* 
ency to become sensitive or allergic, as it is called. In the same class 
are the cases of hay fever, due to the inhalation of pollens from 
trees, grasses and weeds. In this instance the sensitive tissue is the 
lining of the nose, eyes, and throat. 

Allergic skin sensitivities represent the negative side of the 
ledger. On the positive side, it is believed that we inherit varying 
sensitivities of touch and feel. Professional pianists, aside from 
stressing the importance of ultra development of finger sensitivi- 
ties, recognize that many outstanding performers have a naturally 
gifted "feel for the keys." 

One such was Alexandre Borowski the great Russian pianist 
who has thrilled packed houses with his recitals at Carnegie Hall. 
When asked by Harriette Brower, how he had acquired his finger- 
ing technique, he replied, "I hardly know. No doubt some of it is 
natural. I can state this: that I have never practiced technic for 
itself alone, never pure technic so called outside of pieces, never 
scales, chords, trills or octaves, except as they have come in pieces. 
... I can also say that I have never found it necessary to devote 

44 Psychology for the Millions 

so much of the day to practice as many pianists think they must 

Perhaps our light fingered Jimmy Valentines come by their 
delicate touch naturally as do some concert artists. Their oppor- 
tunity for practice is nil. We know of no schools for gyp artists. 
The origin of their talents might provide an interesting study. 


Unknown to many is the well established phenomenon of the 
inheritance of an inability to taste. About ten years ago, quite by 
accident an American chemist found that some of his co-workers 
had no sense of taste for a substance called phenyl thiocarbamidc. 
To those who could taste it, the substance was bitter. Geneticists 
learned of this unusual situation and proceeded to test thousands 
of persons with this chemical mixture which they alphabetically 
baptized as P. T. C. 

The experimenters found that 70% of the American population 
are P. T. C. "tasters," and they judged 30% to be "non tasters." 
Their study further revealed that the inability to taste P. T. C. runs 
in families. Matings between "non taster" and "non taster" give 
only children who are "non tasters." Matings between "tasters" or 
between "non taster" and "taster" may give some children who 
are "tasters" and some who are not. 

Interesting to relate, the Toronto born Dionne quintuplets were 
given this P. T. C. taste test when they were about seven years old. 
Since the five Dionnes were supposed to be identicals, coming 
from one fertilized egg, they should have a common inheritance. 
And if they have a common inheritance, theoretically, they should 
taste alike. Tested one by one by Norma Ford and Arnold Mason 
of the University of Toronto, each of the children gave voice to 
the bitterness of the P. T. C. taste by some little colloquial expres- 
sion in French. From Cecile, "Ce n'est pas bon;" Yvonne, Emilie 
and Marie said, "Waime fas le gofit du tout;" and from Annette, 
"Out c'cst fort" Thus, all five Dionnes were seen to be positive 

"You and Heredity" 45 

"tasters" for P. T. C. The other Dionne children were not tested, 
but mother Dionne showed a decidedly bitter reaction to the 

By the outcome of this little experiment scientists gained knowl- 
edge on two scores. They obtained additional evidence that the 
Quints are identical, and added to their store of information on the 
inheritance of taste reactions. 

From Leningrad in 1940 Dr. S. Davidenkov reported on the 
inheritance of a somewhat curious taste reaction among the mem- 
bers of a Russian family. It appeared that they had inherited an 
inability to tolerate the taste of anything sweet. This peculiarity 
was noted in six members of the same family tree. In one case, 
there were two brothers out of seven children and in the other, 
two brothers and two sisters out of five children were so affected. 
The victims of this strange malady can readily eat food of any 
taste except sweet. They cannot eat honey, jam, cake, candy, ice 
cream, fruit, or berries. An attempt to swallow sweetened foods 
results in nausea, flushed face, and stomach pains. Their concept 
of a perfect meal is tea sans sugar, rye bread, and brine pickles. 

Dr. Davidenkov says nothing about the possibilities of this con- 
dition being considered an allergy. It occurs to us that this may be 
the case. If so, its hereditary nature would be even more definitely 
confirmed. As has been stated previously, allergies are known to 
be hereditary. In this instance the sensitive tissue would appear to 
be the taste buds of the tongue and palate which react to sugar 

Mothers with eating-problem children and husbands may be 
encountering similar taste apathies but which are not quite so 
severe. The allergy specialist is rather familiar with such bizarre 
cases. He can list among his patients men, women, and children 
whose tongue and mouth swell up like a balloon by the mere 
contact with chocolate, eggs, milk, bananas, tomatoes, straw- 
berries, and a host of other foods. 

As for the tongue itself, Professor David Whitney tells us in his 

46 Psychology for the Millions 

quaintly written Family Treasures that we know little of a he- 
reditary nature about this organ of taste. However, he does inform 
us that the ability to roll the tongue is inherited. This tongue-skill 
is tested by your ability to curl up the lateral edges of your tongue 
into a roll. We are told that this ability is inherited as a dominant 
trait in 65% of the population, and not being able to roll the 
tongue is a recessive trait. 

The figures on the differences between the sexes in this lingual 
fluency might be illuminating with reference to loquacity. Un- 
fortunately this information was not given by Professor Whitney. 


In man, the sense of smell seems to have undergone an evolu- 
tionary change. In animals, who depend upon their olfactory sense 
for securing food, a mate, and protection, the sense of smell is 
highly developed. Lower animals inherit an exceptionally large 
"smell brain." The olfactory lobes, the "smell brain" of man, are 
relatively small. 

Using smell merely as a luxury for the enjoyment of foods and 
sex-attraction, man has not had the need for an exceptionally keen 
olfactory sense. Nevertheless, it is recognized that individuals 
differ in their smell abilities. The differences range all the way 
from the smell expert who makes his living at it, to the person 
without any sense of smell at all, which condition is called 

In the perfume business the selection and blending expert must 
have an exceptionally acute sense of smell. We recall reading that 
the Richard Hudnut Company had insured the nose and olfac- 
tory organs of its principal "smeller" for $50,000. Houbigant em- 
ploys a corps of ingredient experts who smell all materials and 
check on the perfume bases, musk and ambergris. Coty employs 
perfuming chemists to blend perfume oils into scents noted for 
"roundness" or "sharp tang." 

Opposed to the experts are those who by accident or heredity 

"You and Hereditf 47 

have no sense of smell at all. In a rather novel experiment Dr. Al 
bert F. Blakeslee discovered a few persons who had inherited an 
inability to smell odors. Some years back he set up a smell testing 
booth at the International Flower Show in New York City. To 
attract his volunteer guinea pigs Dr. Blakeslee arranged an attrac- 
tive floral demonstration with placards reading, "ARE FREESIAS 
FRAGRANT? Some say Yes Many say No." The success of his al- 
lurement was attested by the fact that 8,400 volunteers took part in 
the test. 

According to the set-up, volunteering visitors to the flower 
show were to smell in turn two varieties of the colored freesia 
flowers. For each flower they registered their response as to 
whether the odor was "strong," "medium," "weak," or "no odor" 
and whether the odor was "pleasant," "unpleasant," or "indiffer- 
ent." At all times an attendant was present to record the responses 
on a voting machine. 

An amazingly wide variety of responses to identical flowers 
were recorded during the six days of the experiment. On one oc- 
casion, immediately after a lady exclaimed, "A perfectly heavenly 
odor," a man, smelling the same flower, turned to the attendant 
and said, "Lady, these stink, they stink like h ." Another 
stated, "There is something the matter with these flowers, they 
don't smell at all. You have done something to them." 

Many responses were definitely based on associations. One 
young woman remarked, "No, I don't like the pink ones." "Never 
mind the color, what about the odor?" asked the attendant. "I 
never did like that color," said the woman as she departed. Other 
persons even before trying to smell the flowers were heard to say, 
"Of course freesias are fragrant, colored flowers are always fra- 
grant." The orange-colored freesia, carrying the name Tangerine, 
was frequently described as having the odor of oranges, tangerines, 
orange blossoms, and citrus fruits. 

The influence of associations on reactions to odors is rather com- 
mon. The contented doctor who likes the hospital smell is a 

48 Psychology for the Millions 

familiar example of this. An equally good example is the unfor- 
tunate patient who claims the hospital odor is "sickening." 

While the results of this experiment showed that many differ- 
ences in distinguishing and judging odors were due to external 
factors, it also revealed undeniable differences in smelling capac- 
ities that were innate. Commenting on his findings, Dr. Blake- 
slee says, "It seemed strange, however, how seldom visitors ap- 
peared to realize that the differences observed in their reactions 
to odors was probably, in part at least, attributable to innate dif- 
ferences in individual constitution. This is clearly the case with 
the sense of taste. Others, as well as the writer, have shown that 
differences in taste acuity are inherited." 

This simple experiment in the sense of smell and our previous 
experimental information on the senses of taste, vision, hearing, 
skin senses, etc. bear many psychological implications. They teach 
us that many experiences which we believe to be standardized and 
uniform are not really so. They show us that we are inclined to 
think in terms of generalities. We reason from the particular in- 
stance to the general without really checking our facts. Having 
experienced a pleasant odor in connection with some colored 
flowers, we are willing to believe that all colored flowers have a 
pleasant odor. Because a flower smells sweetly to us we find it 
difficult to believe that the very same odor is obnoxious to our 
neighbor. Knowing in general that a choice is either right or 
wrong, many persons at the flower show demanded to know the 
right answers. These people found it hard to believe that there 
were no "right" answers. To their way of thinking, a substance 
either smells pleasantly or it stinks, and one of the two answers 
must be correct. 


The results of this experiment, like the results of most objective 
information on human characteristics and abilities offers us an 
opportunity to broaden our base of understanding. It teaches us 

ff You and Heredity" 49 

the whys and wherefors of the differences between ourselves and 
our friends. Understanding the basis for these differences we are 
not so hasty to label the next fellow "queer" or "eccentric." The 
informed person is not so foolish as to set himself up as a criterion 
or standard by which to judge others. 

Apropos of this, Dr. Blakeslee discusses the typical attitudes of 
the people cooperating in his smell testing demonstration. He 
states, "There appeared to be two main classes of people. There 
were those who made their own decisions ap to how the odor 
should be described and could not understand how anybody could 
think otherwise." Here we recognize a group who set themselves 
up as standards by which to judge others. As they see it, if an odor 
stinks, then that's the answer, it stinks and there is something 
wrong with the other person who says it doesn't. "There were also 
those who considered the tests in the nature of an examination in 
which they tried to give the correct answers, they appeared to seek 
an authority outside of themselves." In this group we see the edu- 
cationally minded type, seeking to learn the facts so that they may 
be correctly informed. These persons are more apt to accept the 
experimenter's conclusions that a flower may smell pleasantly to 
one person and give an unpleasant odor to another. Their open 
minded attitude is of course the more desirable one. 

By dint of such an inquiring and educational outlook we learn 
to expect differences between persons. We learn also to respect 
these differences and regard them in their true light. We may 
extend our analogy to the information presented on the other 
sensory organs. As informed persons we will know that our neigh- 
bor's taste buds are different from our own. The person who 
spreads mustard in gobs on his bread won't seem quite so queer. 
The color-blind suitor who doesn't recognize that his fiancee is 
wearing a gay, new print dress will be pardoned for his oversight. 
The dentist may not be so impatient with the miserable patient 
who is ultra sensitive to pain. The fellow who takes his coffee 
steaming hot will not be so disdainful of the customer opposite 

50 Psychology for the Millions 

him who takes his lukewarm, "like dishwater." Spectacle-wearing 
children with inherited myopia will not be considered precocious 
bookworms. We will know that our prematurely graying friends 
didn't get that way from worrying, but are helplessly taking after 
their parents. Recognizing that a guest in our house has an in- 
herited hay fever, we will appreciate that his sensitivity to dust, 
smoke, and open windows is not a form of neuroticism. And so on 
ad infinitum, in this Utopian world of understanding, where every- 
one comprehends everybody else's differences, and accepts them 

Some consider this attitude of intelligent understanding as 
tolerance. However, we are not aiming for tolerance. The purpose 
of this information on behavioral characteristics as influenced by 
differences in structure is to impart understanding and respect. 
For only with understanding, can there be harmony in human 
relationships. This, as you will recall, is the ultimate aim of ap- 
plied psychology. 


The visceral or organic senses are located withirt the body. In- 
volving the bodily sensations of hunger, thirst, fatigue, nausea, and 
sexual desire, we know that persons differ with respect to them. 
We know also that they arise from organs such as the stomach, 
genitals, lungs, heart, liver, kidneys, glands, and an expanse of in- 
ternal body tissue. Stimulated by conditions within the body, these 
sense organs are classified by the psychologist as interoceptors to 
be distinguished from the externally located eyes, ears, nose, and 
skin senses, which are classed as exteroceptors. 

The difficulty of checking directly on such deep lying tissues to 
determine hereditary influence is quite apparent. Therefore, we 
have to estimate indirectly the effect of parental endowment on 
the- nature of these organic senses. 

In the case of hearing, seeing, tasting, and smelling we relied on 
performances of these organs to judge the role of heredity. That 

"YouandHereditf 51 

is, we compared acuity of vision, hearing, and taste, in parents and 
their offspring. Observing consistent tendencies of one kind or 
another in families, we were able to deduce the amount of in- 
heritance present. With reference to the visceral senses, our prob- 
lem is somewhat different. We have no experimental devices for 
measuring the sharpness of hunger, the amount of fatigue, de- 
grees of thirst, or the strength of the sex urge in families. And so 
by circuitous reasoning we ask ourselves, "How do these internal 
impulses affect a person in general?" The answer to this question 
appears to be what we term an individual's temperament or emo- 

In other words, we feel that the effects of these internal impulses 
combine to produce what might popularly be described as your 
general disposition. And so by determining the influence of he- 
redity on your temperamental or emotional nature, we are in- 
directly obtaining a measure of inheritance as it affects your 
hunger, thirst, and sex appetites. 

It is obvious that in this situation our appraisement is much more 
indirect than in the matter of the external senses. In this instance 
we are far from certain as to the exact connection between your 
visceral senses and your temperament or emotionality. 

Whatever the relationship between temperament and body 
functions, we do know that hunger, fear, thirst, and sex urges are 
important factors in your make-up. Some psychologists refer to 
them as motivating forces. Others consider them excitants or in- 
ternal tensions. Generally they are spoken of as internal drives. 
Regardless of their name, they are undeniable body dictators. 
Their influence on your behavior, which is undertaken to satisfy 
and relieve these tensions, is immeasurable. There is no doubt that 
they exert a profound influence in moulding your personality. In 
their combined effect we believe that these internal sensory im- 
pulses shape your temperament or emotional tone. This may be 
considered as an important trait or aspect of your personality. Ex- 
perience has shown that this trait can be greatly influenced by en- 

52 Psychology for the Millions 

vironmcnt. But strange as it may seem it is also very largely de- 
termined by heredity. The most important and interesting in- 
formation on this score has been gathered from studies of twins, 
triplets and quadruplets. 

Professors Horatio Newman, Frank Freeman, and Karl Hol- 
zinger, biologist, psychologist, and statistician respectively, joined 
their efforts to produce the most painstaking studies of twins ever 
undertaken. Seeking far and wide throughout the United States, 
over a period of 20 years, they located 19 sets of identical twins who 
had been brought up in different homes. They collected notes and 
submitted detailed tests to each of the 19 sets of twins. They ob- 
tained similar information from 50 sets of identical twins reared 
together. They then compared their results from the two groups. 
To their surprise, comparing similarities and differences in tem- 
perament between the twins reared apart with those brought-up 
together, they found like results for both groups. 

This caused the professors to conclude that both heredity and 
environment were about equally effective in shaping the tempera- 
ment of the twins they had studied. 

The temperament differences between the pairs of twins were 
ascribed to the effect of environment. The fact that the differences 
between the separated pairs were no greater than those found 
among unseparated pairs accounted for the effect of heredity. 

As a further check on their findings the research men attacked 
the problem from another angle. This time they concentrated their 
efforts on pairs of brothers and sisters. These the psychologist calls 
"siblings." Here again they selected two groups. One group con- 
sisted of siblings brought up together, while the second group was 
made up of brothers and sisters reared apart in foster homes. 

As might be expected the temperamental differences between 
the brothers and sisters were greater than between the twins. This 
result naturally indicates the influence of heredity in determining 
temperament. However, the differences in temperament between 
the brothers and sisters reared in the same homes were as great as 

"You and Uereditf 53 

the differences between the siblings reared in foster homes. Thus 
their results from the study of siblings was the same as they had 
found by their examination of twins. And they again concluded 
that both heredity and environment play an important part in de- 
termining temperament and emotionality. 

Twins Lois and Louise were recently discovered by Dr. Iva 
Gardner, psychologist at Baylor University. She lent them to Pro- 
fessor Newman to round out his twentieth case of identical twins 
reared apart. These two rather pretty, dark-haired girls were sepa- 
rated eight days after birth. Except for brief visits they had no con- 
tact until they entered Baylor University at eighteen. Louise was 
educated in a country school, while Lois attended city schools. 

Professor Newman gave personality trait tests to both girls. In 
summarizing his results he states, "All of the tests are consistent 
in showing that these girls have highly similar personalities." 
When we consider the radical environmental differences of the 
two girls Lois having lived in large cities and Louise in a small 
frontier town we cannot help but be impressed by the impor- 
tance of heredity in designing the similarity of their tempera- 

Backing up this example of hereditary influence on tempera- 
ment, we have quite a different case from that of Lois and Louise. 
The same researchers, Professors Gardner and Newman, tell us 
about a unique set of quadruplet sisters. These are Mona, Mary, 
Roberta, and Leota Keys who are the only living quadruplets ever 
to have graduated from college as a group. These attractive girls 
have made many public appearances as good will ambassadors for 
the State of Oklahoma. Thought to be identical at birth, they were 
found to be two pairs of twins. Roberta and Mona are identical 
(one egg) twins, while Mary and Leota are fraternal (two egg) 

The surprising and interesting aspects about this group lies in 
their differences despite the fact that they have lived together un- 
til one of them was married. As described by Dr. Newman, 

54 Psychology for the Millions 

Roberta and Mona tended to be similar but the fraternal twins 
showed distinct differences. Mary was always jolly, jovial and 
more witty than the others. Leota was more independent than her 
sisters. Both Leota and Mary were more aggressive and forward 
than their identical twin sisters. 

In summarizing their study of the four girls, Professors Newman 
and Gardner point out that the influence of heredity was too great 
to make the four girls become temperamentally similar despite 
their "long exposure to a common environment." 

In the College Quadruplets, as the Keys sisters are called, we 
saw the confirmation of hereditary influence on personality traits 
through the dissimilarity in two sets of twins brought up together. 
In the Texas twins Lois and Louise, we saw evidence of hereditary 
influence on emotionality by the similarity in identical twins 
reared apart. In the temperamental dissimilarities that were found 
between all identical twins studied by Professor Newman and his 
colleagues, we observed the effects of environment. 

Thus while the answer to our original question, "Is tempera- 
ment inherited?" is "Yes," we must add that environment is 
equally effective in determining temperament. 


At the outset we indicated that the boundaries of human at- 
tainments consisted of three kinds of limitations. The first, we said, 
was inherent in human nature itself. This was brought out by a 
list of feats that animals can perform but which are beyond the 
reach of human abilities. The explanation of these animal abilities 
has been promised for a subsequent chapter. The remaining 
limits, it was stated, were heredity, and training or "environment," 
as it might be tejrmed in a general sense. 

Thus far we have described what appears to be a rock founda- 
tion in the form of heredity. It was indicated that through he- 
reditary gifts, fame crowned the efforts of Max Ernst, Marion 
Anderson, Arturo Toscanini, Yehudi Menuhin, Grace Moore, 

f 'You and Her edit f 5 5 

Alexandra Borowski, and a host of others. Amram Scheinfeld and 
Professor Carl Seashore demonstrated that if you would become a 
famous virtuoso, you have to inherit certain special musical-hear- 
ing talents. In vision, we saw that many cases and many varieties 
of defective sight were handed down from parents to children. 
Taste abilities and eccentricities were seen to run in families. He- 
redity was shown to be a factor in skin and touch sensitivities. Dif- 
ferences in smelling capacities in many cases were observed to be 
innate. Finally the studies of Professors Horatio Newman, Frank 
Freeman, and their associates indicated the unmistakable influ- 
ence of heredity in shaping the temperamental nature of the twins 
and quadruplets studied by them. 

What does all this evidence piled up on the side of inheritance 
mean ? Does it imply that your achievements in this competitive 
universe are predetermined by your heritage ? Is your future set 
by the nature of the genes in the sperm and egg your parents 
brought together in creating you ? Have we exaggerated the im- 
portance of heredity ? 

Taking the last question first, our answer is, "No." Heredity is 
a powerful element, even more so than we have been able to indi- 
cate in these few pages. Supporting this point of view, we offer 
what we consider to be one of the most penetrating, open faced, 
delightful discourses on the subject of heredity. It is the opinion of 
a man eminently qualified to speak. Scientist, physician, re- 
searcher, and writer, the words of Dr. Logan Clendenning bear 
greater weight than ours. In concluding his chapter on "Heredity 
and Environment" in The Human Body, Dr. Clendenning holds 
forth as follows: 

"Can anything be done to escape these hereditary tendencies ? 
Yes, certainly. We have the knowledge the knowledge of the 
science of heredity and the method, if we wish to apply the 
method. It simply means the elimination of the thing called love 
as it is concerned in the selection of a mate for marriage. Or it 
means the elimination of the method of selection by the parents of 

j6 Psychology for the Millions 

the prospective candidates, as practiced by the French and other 
savage tribes, on the basis of the social and economic factors in- 
volved, to the exclusion of the physical characteristics of the two 
individuals. It means giving up any smug and tacit pretense that 
marriage in the vast majority of instances is entered into for any- 
thing else than to beget progeny. 

"Now, of course, I'm not a fool. This statement will probably 
cause more dissent than any other one in this book. But never- 
theless it is true. I repeat, I am not a fool. I know perfectly well 
that no such arrangement as I have implied above is going to be 
brought about. Men are not going to embrace eugenics. They are 
going to embrace the first likely, trim-figured girl with limpid eyes 
and flashing teeth who comes along, in spite of the fact that her 
germ plasm is probably reeking with hypertension, cancer, 
hemophilia, color-blindness, hay-fever, epilepsy, and amyo- 
trophic lateral sclerosis. This represents a deep piece of sardony on 
the part of nature; I do not believe she ever intended man to 
become a long-lived race. It is an actual fact that those people 
who have all of these terrible excrescences ready to break out are 
in youth the loveliest of the sons and daughters of men: they are 
charming, jovial, fun-loving, laugh-provoking, filled eternally 
with a kind of divine ecstasy; and then their bodies there is a 
sort of ethereal transparency to their skin, there hangs about them 
an unearthly well, I mustn't go on like this. 

"But if we could disregard love, disregard physical attractive- 
ness if I had the power to breed men and women as I liked, I 
could, in about five centuries, produce a race of men whose aver- 
age duration of life would be two hundred and fifty years, and 
another race who would die of senility bald, toothless, and 
blind at the age of fifteen. I could produce a race of tall, enor- 
mously strong, shaggy-haired men, and another of small, shy, 
absolutely hairless men. I could produce a race of women who 
would have a long purple plume growing from their foreheads, 
and hanging to their heels, and a race of men with two enormous 

"You and Hereditf 57 

bright scales over their ears. Perhaps it is well that no such power 
can ever be delegated to any man. People are funny enough as 

it is." 

This graphic presentation of the potentialities of heredity leaves 
little to the imagination. Dr. Clendenning never was one to pull 
his punches or bar any holds. 

While Dr. Clendenning chose to close his chapter on "Heredity 
and Environment" with the above discourse, we have selected it 
as a preamble to our consideration of heredity versus environment, 
or "nature versus nurture," as the problem is otherwise known. 

Before we continue with this double ended dynamite, one end 
needs clarifying; namely, environment. In our discussions we shall 
take the definition of the word literally. By "environment," we 
refer to any and every influence that touches your life which is not 
inherited. It includes the influences of training, learning, experi- 
menting, teaching, trial and error, reading, the home, the school, 
the church, the* street, the hospital, climate, altitude, geography 
and anything else that stimulates any one of your senses in any 
way, shape, or manner. 

edie C/Cati fo f^e pJ^V i<t C/rapeg 


HERE does heredity terminate and the influence of envi- 
ronment begin? What is the role of each in any situation? 

Is this an academic question posed for the purpose of polemics ? 
No, decidedly not. Is it then one of those unanswerables like, 
"What came first, the chicken or the egg?" Again we say, "No." 

This being the case, you naturally ask, "What is the answer?" 
The reply is characteristically professorial. We say, "The relative 
Influence of heredity and environment differs for each human 
trait or condition' 9 

For example, let us consider hereditary diseases. In the condi- 
tion known as hemophilia the victims usually bleed to death if 
they suffer a severe cut. We know that hemophilia is one of the 
sex-linked hereditary diseases that were previously described as 
being carried by the female but appearing in the male. George W. 
Gray traces an interesting history of its appearance in the descend- 
ants of Queen Victoria of England. He describes her as the most 
famous carrier of this strange condition, characterized by an 
absence of blood clotting platelets in the blood stream. Through 
her lineage she transmitted the defective genes to Queen Eugenie, 
wife of King Alfonso of Spain, whose two sons were bleeders. 
The only son of Alexandra and Czar Nicholas of Russia was 
another descendant bleeder. All told, Queen Victoria was respon- 
sible for ten male royal bleeders and six female bleeding carriers. 

Carnegie Hall to the Flying Trapeze 59 

In their time, the forces of heredity destined every one of these 
princely rhale victims to an early death. The role of environment 
in this instance was conspicuous by its helplessness. 

However, were we to choose some other potentially fatal heredi- 
tary disease our story would be different. In diabetes, for example, 
the sufferer is unable to utilize any sugar or carbohydrate foods 
that he eats. But the body needs these substances for sustenance, 
and takes it from its own tissues. Gradually the diabetic wastes 
away and dies. This was the picture. It was a story of death by 
slow starvation before Drs. Banting and Best discovered that dia- 
betes was due to a lack of insulin secretion. Now with regular 
injections of insulin, taken from the glands in the pancreases of 
animals, diabetic humans may live out their normal span of life. 

In this hereditary disease, environmental forces, in the form of 
medical science, have reversed an otherwise hopeless situation. 
Remarkable to relate, from the laboratories of this same Dr. Best 
at the University of Toronto have come recent reports of success- 
ful life-saving methods applied to a few hemophilia bleeders. And 
with time the story of hemophilia may become another example 
of medical or environmental conquest over an hereditary killer. 

Many additional examples of differences in the relative influ- 
ence of heredity and environment in specific situations can be 
given. But in so doing, we would be led away from our purpose. 
In presenting these examples we have not been trying to show that 
heredity is more effective than environment in any situation, or 
vice versa. The prime purpose was to point out that each can 
bring to bear a powerful influence of its own, and the recognition 
of each in any circumstance is an end in itself. 

To return to our starting point, let us go back to some unfin- 
ished business. In the previous chapter on sensory limitations I 
omitted the sense of equilibrium and the muscular senses. These 
as you will recall are the essentials of the baseball player, the golfer, 
the tennis pro, the bowler, the dancer, the acrobat, tight wire 
walker, diver, bareback rider, trapeze artist, runner and, in fact, 

60 Psychology for the Millions 

every locomoting human. These senses were omitted because 
among the champions in athletic and acrobatic performances, the 
question of heredity and environment in contributing to their 
success has long been a perplexing problem. But before presenting 
it, I wanted to acquaint the reader in a general way with this 
nature versus nurture issue. 



In originally describing the senses, you will recall that the Anes- 
thetic sense was described as being made up of sensations from 
the muscles, tendons, and joints. It is the sense through which you 
are able to discriminate differences in weight, pull, tension, strain, 
direction, and speed of movement. Combined with the sense of 
balance, controlled by the semicircular canals in the middle ear, 
these senses are responsible for body positions and movements. 
Add to the senses of Anesthesia and eqwlibrium the sense of sight, 
and you have the vital mechanism that controls all motor acts. 

The professional athlete, the olympic star, the aerial performer, 
and the dancing artist, all exhibit sheer wizardry in their control 
and perfection of these mechanisms. 

The perfect sense of balance, muscular coordination, and split 
second timing that made Bobby Jones, Vaslav Nijinsky, Jesse 
Owens, Carl Wallenda, Nio Naitto, Joe Di Maggio, and Johnny 
Weismuller masters of their athletic arts, may be compared with 
the wondrous musical hearing senses displayed by such musical 
greats as Jascha Heifetz, Alfred Wallenstein, Eugene Ormandy, 
Kirstcn Flagstad, Yehudi Menuhin, Fritz Kreisler, and others. 


We learned from the work of Professor Carl Seashore and 
Amram Scheinfeld that musical aptitude is largely inherited. 

In a literary treasure of delightful reading, David Ewen tells 
the stories of the "Men and Women Who Make Music." It is 
evident from their biographies, that most of the world's greatest 

Carnegie Hall to the Flying Trapeze 61 

musicians indubitably inherited much of their musical genius. 
Eugene Ormandy, successor to Stokowski as conductor of the 
Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, was a prpdigy among prodi- 
gies. At one and a half he could name any of fifty musical works, 
after hearing only the first few bars on his father's music box. At 
the age of one, Yehudi Menuhin would sit and listen rapturously 
to concerts given by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. At 
ten, he played the Beethoven Concerto in Carnegie Hall to the 
accompaniment of the New York Symphony Society. At eight 
months, the face of Jascha Heif etz would light up when his father 
played a beautiful melody, but would actually reflect pain when 
a dissonance was sounded. He was but six years old when young 
Heifetz made his first concert appearance, playing the Violin 
Concerto of Mendelssohn. 

Despite their almost unbelievable gifts of musical aptitude, con- 
centrated study under expert guidance was the pattern followed 
by every successful prodigy. The biographies of famed musicians 
disclose that every one of them spent long hours in daily practice 
from childhood on. Almost all were tutored by great masters and 
studied at the finest conservatories. Eugene Ormandy was enrolled 
in the Budapest Academy of Music when he was five years old, 
the youngest pupil ever admitted to that institution. At the age 
of five, Jascha Heifetz was placed in the Royal School of Music at 
Vilna under the instruction of Elias Malkin. When Yehudi Menu- 
hin reached five and a half, Louis Persinger, concert master of 
the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, accepted him as a pupil. 
Fritz Kreisler was enrolled in the Vienna Conservatory at the age 
of seven. Arturo Toscanini received a diploma from the Parma 
Conservatory in Italy while still in his early teens. After having 
written compositions of his own, Ignace Paderewski took a course 
under the great Leschetizky, who made him study one bar at a 
time. He would spend a full day on one page. Eight to ten hours 
of practice made up his usual day. 

These are the backgrounds of great musicians, each of whom 

62 Psychology for the Millions 

showed definite signs of being gifted in his childhood. These 
are the facts of their hereditary and environmental backgrounds. 
To what extent do we find parallels to them among our physical 
performers, who move in a world of body grace, coordination, 
and hair-breadth timing and balance? How much of physical 
genius is inherited and how much is due to environment in the 
case of our Nijinskys, Di Maggios, Bobby Joneses, Ernestine 
Clarkes, Clayton Behees, Donald Budges, Babe Ruths and Sonja 
Henies ? Let us take a brief look into the backgrounds of several 
world champion performers who owe their skill to their sense 
of balance, timing, and muscle-coordination. 


Bobby Jones Jr., the greatest golfer of all time, won his first cup 
in an i8-hole neighborhood golf tournament at the age of eight. 
He became a national champion at the unprecedented age of 
seventeen. Bobby Jones III recently made golf history by winning 
a Georgia State Tournament at fourteen. Lawson Little, the cur- 
rent golf champion, when he was but nine years old, turned in 
a score of 53 for the first round of nine holes that he ever played. 
, In baseball, about one out of every 25,000 boys who strive for it, 
ever get to play on a major league team. In the family of Joe Di 
Maggio, the home run champion, there are three boys out of five 
who play baseball on big league teams. 

From the time he was eleven until he was fifteen, Donald Budge 
did not set foot on a tennis court. A week before the 1930 Cali- 
fornia State boys championship, Lloyd Budge succeeded in goad- 
ing his younger brother, Donald, into entering the tournament. 
It is related that with but one week of concentrated practice, Don- 
ald Budge, at the age of fifteen, entered his first tennis tournament 
and won it. 

Vaslav Nijinsky, before the tragedy of his mental breakdown, 
was known as the supreme male dancer of the ballet. His leaping 
ability was such that he once did ten entrechats. A dancer that 

Carnegie Hall to the Flying Trapeze 63 

does four is rare. At the age of three, Nijinsky made his first public 
appearance, dancing a pas de trois that his father had composed 
for him. 

Eleanor Holm, the star of Billy Rose's Aquacade, was a child 
of thirteen when she won the 300-yard medley swim champion- 
ship of the United States. Mary Ryan was ten years old when 
coach Bud Sawin taught her to take her first strokes. The next 
year she won the National Junior half-mile event and set a new 
record, defeating girls up to nineteen years of age. At the age of 
seventeen, in his first season of major league pitching, Bob Feller, 
the Iowa farm boy, broke the big league strike-out record by 
fanning 17 opponents in one game. Megan Taylor, former World 
Champion ice skater, was a member of the British 1932 Olympic 
team at the age of eleven. Robin H. Lee, five-time winner of the 
United States men's figure skating title, won his first champion- 
ship at the age of twelve. 

In many respects the backgrounds of these world champions 
are similar to those of the great musical artists. The natural, easy 
adaptability of some, the display of unusual ability at precocious 
ages, and the incomparable attainments all point to hereditary 
help. At the same time, there is little doubt that the athletes, like 
the musical prodigies, spend innumerable hours of practice in 
perfecting their hereditary gifts. 

These wizards of body coordinations started their training and 
schooling as early as the musical marvels. Were we to look care- 
fully into their backgrounds we would see that they too entered 
conservatories and academies for training in childhood. The con- 
servatories of the athletes are not quite as resplendent or for- 
mal as those of the musicians but they seem to be every bit as 
effective. Their schools consist of back yards, empty lots, barns, 
hay fields, streets, gymnasia, and public playgrounds. 

Biographers of the virtuosi recognize that it is impressive to 
read that Jascha Heifetz entered the Royal School of Music at 
Vilna to be tutored by Elias Malkin at the unprecedented age of 

64 Psychology for the Millions 

five. But what biographer would find romance in the statement 
that at the age of six Lou Gehrig entered the school yard of Public 
School 87 where he practiced batting baseballs under the guidance 
of the playground teacher, Joe Brown? Nevertheless, it is true 
that Bob Feller, Babe Ruth, Bobby Jones, Donald Budge, Eleanor 
Holm and all the others "went to school'* in streets, playgrounds, 
lots, parks and pools soon after they learned to walk. They may 
not always have practiced the very activity in which they later 
excelled, but they did obtain balance and muscle sense training 
which was the basis for their great abilities. 

Before arriving at our conclusions as to the nature of the con- 
tributions of heredity and environment in producing renowned 
athletic performers let us consider the world's most interesting 
group of flesh and blood-tingling performers circus artists. 


Last year in New York City alone, more than 1,000,000 persons 
visited the Ringling Bros, and Barnum and Bailey Circus. Even 
in this blase metropolis the adults are seen to gasp, gape, and 
cheer in open admiration at what the circus performer can do with 
his body by way of control, balance, and muscular coordination. 
"Sheer genius," says the crowd. "One in a million! Marvelous! 
Unbelievable!" are the utterances of amazement that pass from 
mouth to mouth. "How do they get that way?" asks every stage- 
struck hero worshiper. 

"How do they get that way?" asks the psychologist when he 
explores the contributions of heredity and environment. And so 
in order to find out, this writer went to the circus stars and plied 
them with questions. Without exception, they showed a sincere 
interest in my quest. I offer you some of the enlightening facts 
that I learned about their heritage and their path to stardom. 

Carl Wallenda, of the famous circus Wallendas, related that 
he had been with the circus since 1928. The Wallendas perform 
the world's most hazardous balancing feats on the high wire. 

Carnegie Hall to the Flying Trapeze 65 

Their f&cc de resistance is a stunt in which Mrs, Wallenda stands 
on the shoulders of husband Carl who stands on a chair, which 
is balanced on a pole, which rests on the shoulders of brother 
Herman and cousin Joe as they ride bicycles across the high wire. 
Carl Wallenda, the originator of the stunts and most daring 
member of the group, represents the fourth generation of circus 
acrobats, flying trapeze, and high wire artists. Carl precociously 
performed at the age of four, but his child betters this record. At 
the age of 2/^, Carl's daughter, Marion, did a newsreel for Holly- 
wood, displaying her wire-walking abilities on the low wire 
twelve feet high. When working on new stunts, Carl said, the 
troupe sometimes practices from four to six hours a day for as 
much as a full year. And to keep in condition when they are not 
working, they practice several hours daily. 

The circus has never had a low wire performer to equal the 
amazing ability of Nio Naitto. When I spoke to Miss Naitto I was 
as much taken aback by her petite figure and oriental beauty as by 
her remarkable performance. Her heritage reveals the origin of 
her rare beauty and unusual skill. Her father is Chinese and 
mother Russian; both were flying-ring and trapeze artists. Weigh- 
ing but 103 pounds Nio Naitto astounds the audience with her 
strength and balancing skill. In the Naitto act, her sister Ala, 
weighing 125 pounds, stands on Nio's head as Nio walks up the 
steps and across the wire, stopping to juggle a few clubs and rings 
in the center of the wire. Nio related that she first attempted the 
wire at seven, and was performing at the age of eight. "It's easy 
when you are trained as a child," said Nio with characteristic 
modesty. "But," she added, "you always have to practice, some- 
times six and seven hours a day when you are learning." 

The greatest bareback riders of the circus belong to the Loyal- 
Repensky family. Theirs is not a publicity "circus family" but a 
bona fide blood-related group of four sisters, two brothers and 
the father, aged sixty-five, who still rides. The star of the act is 
Justino Loyal, who represents the fifth generation of bareback 

66 Psychology for the Millions 

riders. Justino is recognized as the greatest bareback horseman 
in the world. He displayed medals from the kings of England, 
Yugoslavia, Spain, Italy, and a few other heads of State. Justino 
does a somersault from one galloping horse to another, passing 
his body through a small hoop as he turns in the air. His greatest 
stunt is a somersault from the first horse to the fourth horse, while 
the horses are galloping around the ring. Justino started riding 
bareback at the age of five. While I was in Justine's dressing room, 
his son, age three, ambled in. For my amusement Justino Jr. grace- 
fully performed a back flip, at his father's suggestion that he show 
me "how he plays." "You see," said Justino, "he practices now by 
playing, later we put him on the horse and he practices with us 
many hours every day." 

Hedwick Roth is billed by the circus as "Lalage, lovely high 
priestess of rhythm aloft." She performs aerial gymnastics on the 
rings. Her most spectacular stunt is the performance of one hun- 
dred consecutive "one-arm planges." That is, holding a suspended 
ring by one arm, she tosses her body over in a somersault one 
hundred times without a pause between tosses. This dainty, femi- 
nine looking acrobat said that when she met her husband at the 
age of fourteen, she couldn't chin herself once. There were no 
other gymnasts or performers in her family. Her husband, a 
gymnastic performer at the time, stated that he recognized in her 
"unusual coordination and an aptitude for easy learning." With 
a two-year period of training, Hedwick began performing. She 
has displayed her talent in vaudeville circuits, at the Casa Manana 
night club, at Clifford Fischer's Follies Bergere, and now at the 

A pair of circus daredevils with no vaudeville or circus blood 
in them are sisters Patricia and Sally Cartier. They started doing 
tap and acrobatic dancing at the age of four because their untal- 
ented mother liked watching performers. They realized their 
mother's ambitions for them by giving dancing performances at 
the age of eleven. Then in their late teens these two dark-haired, 

Carnegie Hall to the Flying Trapeze 67 

pretty, English-bred girls switched their abilities to aerial rings 
and trapeze bars. Patricia Carrier, in characteristic circus style, 
now does a death-defying upside-down loop walk from the ceil- 
ing of the circus arena. She stated that it took her only six months 
to perfect this stunt. Blindfolded, and hanging by her toes, she 
rhythmically traverses twelve loops suspended eighty feet above 
the ground. Her performance is a miracle of sensory balance, 
control, and muscle coordination. 


The flying trapeze troupes of the current circus edition just over- 
flow with family traditions and celebrated stars. Every one of 
them is a world champion in his own right. The two exceptions 
to family backgrounds are Juanita and Roy Deisler, whom we 
mentioned previously. Theirs is a talent born to an untalented 
family as in the cases of Arturo Toscanini and Yehudi Menuhin 
of the musical greats. At the other extreme with a long family 
train, is the chestnut haired cover-girl and circus pin-up girl, 
Ernestine Clarke, who heads the Flying Clarkonian trapeze act. 
Her father, recently deceased, was doing double somersaults and 
full twists on the trapeze at the age of sixty-four. His parents and 
grandparents were performers before him. Her mother is the 
former Hanneford equestrian queen, daughter of the famous Pud- 
dles Hanneford who rode bareback on into her seventies. Cover- 
girl Ernestine was doing skin-the-cats on a broomstick at the age 
of three, and started performing in her parents' act when she was 
nine. When interviewed, she was the youngest headliner in the 

In trapeze acts there are flyers and catchers. Flying with Juanita 
and Roy Deisler in the Royals is Buster Melzora, who hails from 
a flying family. His brother, Roy Melzora, is in Ripley's "Believe 
It Or Not" as the only trapeze artist performing despite the handi- 
cap of a wooden leg. Buster was weaned on a trapeze that had 
been set up in his father's barn at Saginaw, Michigan. At the age 

68 Psychology for the Millions 

of seven he was doing double somersaults. Now at thirty-six, a 
handsome, lithe figure, he does a double cut-away somersault as 
easily and gracefully as the man on the flying trapeze. 

Joe Siegrist is an all-around utility trapeze artist. One after- 
noon I saw him pinch hit for Eddie Ward as the catcher with the 
Clarkonians. That evening he substituted for Juanita Deisler as 
a flyer with the Royals. Toto Siegrist, Joe's grandfather, was de* 
clared by Lowell Thomas to be the original inspiration of the 
"Man On the Flying Trapeze." Charles Siegrist, Joe's father, broke 
his neck while performing at the age of fifty-one. He wavered 
between life and death for two weeks amid a volume of news- 
paper bulletins. Now at the age of sixty-three he is still amazing 
the medical profession and American soldiers by performing on 
the trapeze at army camps in the United States. Jo Anne Siegrist, 
Joe's daughter, is an up and coming aerial star who began work- 
ing with the circus at the minimum child labor law age of fourteen. 

As a schoolboy, Eddie Ward used to spend his afternoons catch- 
ing Joe Siegrist and Buster Melzora on the trapeze bar in Buster's 
barn at Saginaw. Eddie started swinging from bars at the age of 
2^. By the time he was nine he was performing. Both his parents 
and their parents were well-known trapeze artists in vaudeville 
and circuses. Another brother and a sister are also performers. 

Clayton Behee is probably the greatest living male flyer on the 
trapeze. He is the only performer that can do a triple somersault 
with certainty. His record of thirty-one successful triples reminds 
one of the great batting record of Joe Di Maggio who hit success- 
fully in 56 consecutive games. Both of Clayton Behee's parents 
were aerial performers. Starting his practice in infancy he began 
flying at the age of nine. 

In the backgrounds and foregrounds of these circus artists we 
again see the indelible stamp of heredity. Again the display of 
talents at precocious ages and the achievement of masterful abili- 
ties are found together. The long lines of family artistry among 

Carnegie Hall to the Plying Trapeze 69 

these performers should not be mistakenly interpreted. While 
they undoubtedly indicate gifts of heritage, they are equally im- 
portant as environmental influences. There can be little doubt 
that tradition, parental dictates, and the lure of circus glamour 
are powerful factors in getting circus offspring to follow in their 
fathers' footsteps. Rather than lend undue weight to heredity, these 
family connections insure early training, expert teaching, and an 
open sesame to a job. Experience shows that this is , indeed the 
case with circus stars. 

What, therefore, must be our conclusions with reference to 
heredity and environment in producing athletic champions, star 
performers, and circus artists? 

Before we consider the answer, it should be remembered that 
the hereditary influences apply only to the sensory structures that 
are essential to the performances. The performance abilities them- 
selves are in noway inherited; the form they take is due primarily 
to practice and training or environment in general. 

Our conclusions apply to all sensory functions. They are the 
same as those given by scientific research psychologists on the 
question of heredity and environment with respect to all human 
traits or capacities. These are the conclusions: Heredity supplies 
the potential limits to your maximum possible development. En- 
vironment or training enables you to reach these limits. Stated 
more simply, What you can be depends upon heredity, what you 
will be depends upon environment. 

With favorable heritage and adequate training, world-beaters 
are developed. Lacking the necessary inheritance, practice and 
training assume the burden of creating ability. In actual practice, 
however, it is well to remember that in only very rare instances do 
we ever develop our skills to the utmost of our hereditary endow- 
ments. Thus, in this competitive world, the ungif ted average per- 
son, by dint of will, concentration, and arduous efforts, can often 
surpass his less ambitious, gifted rival. Should the gifted mortal 

yo Psychology for the Millions 

exercise will, concentration, and arduous effort in the direction 
of his gifts, he becomes an immortal Bobby Jones or record- 
smashing Sonja Henie. 


The role of heredity has received most of the attention up to 
this point. However, it should now be clear to the reader that 
even the most gifted genius with unequaled hereditary abilities 
docs not attain lofty heights without an abundance of environ- 
mental striving. The biographical briefs show, with few excep- 
tions, a long-time devotion to a single purpose in the life history 
of these celebrated personages. Their lives are replete with stories 
of their intense and ceaseless ^fforts directed toward the achieve- 
ment of a spot in the limelight. Concentration, determination, 
and tireless work seem to be the keynote to their success. 

When at the age of eleven Sonja Henie placed third on the 
Norwegian Olympic team, it is related, she was so disappointed 
she withdrew from competition and began practicing seven hours 
a day. "Considering the intensive and comprehensive character 
of Sonja Henie's figure skating education," writes Herb Graffis, 
"it is no particular mystery except that of superhuman conceiv 
tration, that she became the Ice Queen whose reign possibly will 
remain in memory's records as the most glamorous in this superla- 
tively artistic field of sport." 

For Bob Feller, the Iowa "farm boy," his father had built a 
target on a tree at which he was to throw baseballs when his 
father was too busy to serve as his catcher. A home plate was 
imbedded in the floor of the barn where he pitched to his father 
when the weather was bad. Sports writers, watching Lawson 
Little practice for championship golf, have said, "He has the 
power of concentration of a wild animal trainer." Of Vaslav 
Nijinsky, his wife has written, "His work was his life. He prac- 
ticed on the stage, in the rehearsal room, in his bedroom, when- 
ever and wherever he could find time and space." Ignace Pad- 

Carnegie Hall to the Flying Trapeze 71 

erewski's eight hours a day of practice on one page of piano 
composition illustrates training-for-genius. Juanita Deisler prac- 
ticed for seven hours a day, and perfected her famed two-and-a- 
half somersault with a cast on her foot during the winter of 1943 
at Sarasota, Florida. 

At an afternoon performance of the Circus in New York, I saw 
this same pretty, blond Juanita break her husband Roy's nose 
doing her specialty stunt. In their dressing room, after the acci-. 
dent, Roy Deisler said, "What you saw out there is just one of 
those accidents that are part of this game; it was all my fault." 
Of course it wasn't his fault. But at the evening performance, 
Roy Deisler, with a broken nose, was hanging upside down on 
the trapeze bar catching the flyers in his trapeze act. 

The late Victoria Torrence, twirling beauty of the circus "Couple 
in the Comet," fell from a height of 45 feet while practicing, 
earlier in her career. She suffered a broken jaw, fractured hip 
bone, and broken bones in both hands. As soon as her bones 
healed, she and her husband, Frank, took up where they left off 
and performed those same stunts at a height of eighty feet until 
she was killed in a fall while descending at the end of their act in 
Madison Square Garden in April of 1945. 

This oneness and dogged devotion to a purpose is reflected in 
the great artists' motto, "The show must go on." During an eve- 
ning performance of the circus at Madison Square Garden, the 
circus physician, Victor Ascolitto, remarked to me, "There are 
more than a dozen performers out there who are sicker than lots 
of the patients in bed across the street at the Polyclinic Hospital." 

The pattern of continuous and persistent practice, joined to 
aptitude, is the templet for achievement. In my quest among the 
circus stars I learned that they were well aware of this pattern. 
I asked each the hypothetical question: "Do you consider heredity 
or training more important in contributing to your unusual abil- 
ity?" Here are the answers of several world-famous stars: 

Youthful looking, curly haired Carl Wallenda said: "There is 

j2 Psychology for the Millions 

no end to training. A real performer is always improving. We 
practice all the time and work very hard. As I watch my child 
from when she was a baby, I am sure she inherited much. The 
other kids try to imitate her on the wire and can't do it. Yet we 
give them the same help we give her. But without training even 
she can't become a great performer." 

With her characteristic sincerity, black-haired, almond-eyed 
Nio Naitto stated: "Many girls want to, but they can't do the wire 
tricks. They practice and practice. It's like good musicians. It's 
something born in you but you must learn to bring it out. My sister 
and I, we both practice very much but she can never do my trick. 
If I did not practice even I could not do my trick." 

Expressing an opinion in accord with that of her husband, Vic- 
toria Torrence, the Viennese ballet performer of the skies, replied: 
"You have to be gifted to be a star. You can't become a star just 
by copying. I have seen many untalented girls try; they get good 
but never reach the top. To be successful there must be a certain 
feeling and wish within you to bring out something. This wish 
makes you work and concentrate with all your heart to bring out 
of you what you are trying to show the world." 

Showing her pretty white teeth in her habitual smile, Ernestine 
Clarke answered: "With the kind of family background that I 
have, it is only natural for me to believe that heredity is most 
important. Father was a trapeze star and mother a bareback rider. 
I do both. Besides that, I have seen them try to train many children 
of talented and untalented parents with little success. So there has 
to be something to start with. But also, I know that if I didn't 
practice as much as I did I wouldn't get very far." 

Handsome, mild mannered Buster Melzora came right to the 
point. Said he: "Unless they have it in them they can go just so 
far and no more. But with training and the right heredity, barring 
accidents, you can keep going." 

These replies embody the opinions that were received from all 
the performers, including skating star Lyn Ellis, trapeze artists 

Carnegie Hall to the Flying Trapeze 73 

Roy Deisler and Clayton Bchec and bareback genius Justino 
Loyal, among others. At the same time their answers reflect the 
conclusions of scientific psychology, namely, that successful 
achievement is gained by dint of training and concentration of 
effort on your parent-given aptitudes. 

What you can be depends upon heredity, what you will be 
depends upon environment. 


k //J 


far we have illustrated the variations in human be- 
havior attributable to hereditary and training influences. There 
remains the third factor, of limitations upon our abilities by rea- 
son of the fact that we are humans. These restrictions upon man, 
or the species homo sapiens, are best illustrated by viewing some of 
the amazing animal abilities touched on previously. 

Some acts of animals and humans are so astounding as to be 
almost unbelievable. Were it not for the fact that these acts are 
witnessed daily, and described by reliable scientists, we would 
consider them preposterous fiction. 

In his book on pigeons, Professor Naether tells about racing 
pigeon B. C. H. 27 MCCA 516, "a true champion." "On July 4, 
1930, she was tossed into the air at Havana, Cuba. Five days later 
before noon of July 9, she arrived at her loft in Baltimore, Mary- 
land, having flown a distance of thirteen hundred miles." 

On a summer day in 1926, Professor J. O. Snyder marked a 
young Chinook salmon in a little stream of the Klamath River 
in northern California. Sometime in the fall of that year, the 
salmon, now a little more than a year old, started on his down- 
stream journey to the Pacific Ocean. The yearling fish covered a 
distance of more than two hundred miles in his migration. Five 
years later,, Professor Snyder recovered his marked Chinook, who 

Why Ends Go South 75 

had returned to spawn and die in the very stream where he was 

Saul Michelson moved from Albany, New York, to Schenec- 
tady, a distance of fifteen miles, and left his cat behind. Two 
weeks later weary Tommy, to the wonderment and consternation 
of the Michelson family, showed up in the back yard of their new 
home in Schenectady. 

Mr. Lee Crandall, curator of the New York Zoological Gar- 
dens, told the writer about the habits of the ground squirrels at 
the Zoo. These gray members of the rodent family evade the 
rigors of winter by retreating to their burrows. They hibernate 
there in a deep stupor without waking for food or water for more 
than two months. With the coming of warm weather they awaken 
as chipper as ever. The female squirrels, for their part, are ready 
to bear a litter of young. 

Ornithologist Allen D. Cruickshank had observed robins and 
sparrows arriving in New York annually around April ist to 
make their nest in the very same place they had it the previous 
year. And every year as regularly as the shedding and blooming 
of trees, these birds leave New York toward the end of October to 
return the following April. 

Michael Supa is rather well known in his home town of Bing- 
hamton, New York. Mr. Supa lost his vision at the age of one 
and a half through a childhood illness. Yet without assistance he 
will unerringly be aware of a wall or any large obstacle placed in 
his path and will never stumble over it. 

A bat will fly through an absolutely dark, winding cave without 
hitting a jutting rock or other projection. But no feathered bird 
can be coaxed to wilfully even fly into the entrance of a darkened 

These examples of truly amazing behavior are usually classed 
as instincts; especially those applying to animals. They are in the 
category of what is termed the homing instinct, the migratory 
instinct, the hoarding instinct, the hibernation instinct, etc. It has 

j6 Psychology for the Millions 

been the practice of uninformed writers to explain these acts by 
calling them "instinctive." 

This of course is no explanation at all. To explain an act by call- 
ing it "instinctive" is like saying, "an ability is present because it 
exists." We gain little enlightenment from the statement that 
"birds migrate by instinct." It doesn't tell us why or how a bird 
finds its way south in October and returns north in April every 
year without fail. 

The only thing the word "instinct" does and should tell you is 
that which the word means in its original definition. This point 
must be emphasized because, as shall be shown later, the term 
"instinct" has had a buffeted and riotous career in the history of 
words and psychology. According to its original definition, psy- 
chologists, ornithologists, ichthyologists, zoologists and all other 
interested scientists agree that, by nature, species of animals and 
humans inherit certain structures that impel them to perform 
complex acts without any learning, in a normal environment, 
which acts may rightfully be called instincts. 

At this point I am not yet ready to elaborate on the misuse and 
abuse of the word "instinct" as such. Right now, it is sufficient 
to indicate that even if correctly labeled, the term "instinctive" 
should never be considered as an adequate explanation of be- 
havior. Nor should it deter anyone from attempting to under- 
stand the "how" and "wherefore" of so-called instinctive behavior. 
In fact, experience has shown that when truly understood, many 
acts thought to be instinctive were really learned skills or devel- 
oped habits. 

Whatever instincts actually exist, amazing and incredible as 
they are, they must be described in terms of known or proven 
body functions. One should not be gullible enough to accept expla- 
nations theorizing new or mystic senses as "a sense of direction," 
"a magnetic sense," "sixth sense," "a time sense," "a psychic sense," 
"clairvoyant sense" or some other quack sense. 

As examples of behavior, the psychologist is concerned with 

Why Birds Go South 77 

extraordinary acts, whether they are truly instinctive or not. Scien- 
tists have sweated in their laboratories and hunted in the wilder- 
ness to learn how bats can fly in the dark without hitting obstacles, 
how a dog on sentry duty can spot an intruder a quarter of a mile 
away, how an owl can find its way about at night, how pigeons 
can find their way home, how bears can hibernate for the winter, 
how salmon can return to spawn and die where they were hatched, 
how birds find their way south in winter. In many instances, as 
you shall read, these tireless researchers have solved the mysteries. 
The solution to these animal mysteries has shed a great deal of 
light on so-called "sixth sense" and "instinctive" human abilities. 
We shall see how, in many cases, psychologists have applied their 
knowledge of animals to the understanding of humans. 


How blind is a bat that can fly around in the dark all night 
without hitting anything? And in the light, bats will not fly into 
your hair to seek darkness. That idea is pure superstition. As long 
ago as 1794 Lazzaro Spallanzani, Paul de Kruif s head "Microbe 
Hunter," blinded several bats and demonstrated that they could 
fly as skillfully as before. When their eyes are open, bats can see, 
but not too well. That's where we get our "blind as a bat" simile. 

How then can bats fly full speed without hitting obstacles, 
through dar\ forests and long winding caves, where their eyes are 
useless because of the absolute darkness? 

The solution of this puzzle took a hundred and forty years. 
Shortly after Spallanzani's proof that the eyes weren't used, a 
French scientist, Louis Jurine, showed that plugging their ears 
interfered with the bats' abilities to avoid obstacles. In 1920 an 
American physiologist, Dr. H. Hartridge, suggested that bats 
avoided obstacles by sounds reflected from the obstacles. Finally 
in 1940 a couple of brilliant young biologists, Donald Griffin and 
Robert Galambos, working at the Physical Laboratories of Har- 
vard University, completely unraveled the mystery. 

78 Psychology for the Millions 

They set up a room with wires stretched from the ceiling to the 
floor to provide obstacles for the bats to hit or avoid. Then, in turn, 
they blindfolded the bats, stuffed their ears, and closed their 

Crowell-Collier Publishing Co. 

f don't know what to do. He's been tearing around up here like a you- 


mouths. They next counted the number of times that the respec- 
tive blind, deaf, gagged, and unmolested bats hit the wire. 

They found that with their mouths shut or their ears 
plugged the bats hit the wires and mesh walls quite frequently. 
Both the blinded and untampered bats rarely hit the wires or 
walls. The young experimenters discovered that in approaching 

Why Birds Go South 79 

obstacles the bats emitted very high frequency sounds which were 
reflected back from the obstacles. Their ability to hear these super- 
sonic sounds normally enabled the bats to perceive any obstruction, 
and avoid it. 

These supersonic sounds were found to range in frequencies 
between 30,000 and 50,000 cycles per second. They cannot be heard 
by the human ear, which has a limit of about 20,000 cycles. By 
using a special microphone and amplifier system, the Harvard 
experimenters were able to catch and study the extremely high 
frequency shrills emitted by the bats in flight. They were able to 
show that the bats' ears were sensitive to *hese high frequency 
sounds that were above the human range of hearing. 

Thus it was discovered that a blind bat's avoidance of jagged 
rocks in darkened caves was not due to an undefined instinct, but 
to sensory function. By emitting supersonic cries and hearing them 
reflected from the obstacles by their highly sensitive auditory 
structure, bats fly in the darf^ without hitting obstacles. 


An unusually interesting parallel to this experiment with bats 
is the ability of blind persons to avoid bumping into objects. Place 
a chair in the path of an alert, blind person and you will observe 
that he frequently avoids it by some uncanny sense. Other blind 
persons know immediately when another individual is in front 
or beside them. By most persons, this ability is considered a "sixth 
sense." Something like the mistaken belief that you can accu; 
rately sense when someone is staring at your back. (You can't. 
Try it experimentally and you'll find we're right.) Most of the 
blind who have the ability to tell when obstacles are in front of 
them are unable to explain how they do it. 

Jake Twersky, despite his blindness, won the Senior Metro- 
politan Wrestling (Championship of New York in 1942. A member 
of the City College of New York varsity wrestling team, he was 
defeated but once in two years of stiff competition that included 

8o Psychology for the Millions 

such rivals as New York University, Temple, and Columbia. As 
an instructor at the college where Jake was a student I had ample 
opportunity to study Jake's behavior. Being interested in wres- 
tling, I shared the fate of his many opponents. He pinned me to 
the wrestling mat on more than one occasion. Try as I might, at 
no time could I or any other opponent get behind Jake without 
his being aware of it. Often I would watch Jake wend his way 
through the gymnasium obstacles of chairs, parallel bars, Swedish 
boxes, and side horses without ever bumping into any of them. 
On many a summer morning I saw Jake swim in the college pool, 

In a simple experiment for the purposes of this book I tested 
Jake's "sense of obstacles." Jake was good enough to come up- 
town from Columbia University where he was studying for his 
doctorate at the time. In the test, I held a five-by-seven pad about 
a foot from his face. Using a given signal, Jake was to tell when it 
was there and when it wasn't. Varying the sequence and even 
rustling the pad to fool him, I gave Jake eleven trials. He got 
eleven out of eleven right. I tried it next and didn't even guess 
well. My score was two out of eleven correct. 

"How do you do it, Jake?" I asked in amazement. "I don't 
know, but I think it's hearing or maybe some facial sensitivity," 
was his reply. 

Jake Twersky is not alone in his uncertainty about his ability 
to detect objects without seeing them. Experimenters since 1749 
have called this ability everything from "facial vision" to a "sixth 
sense." They have ascribed it to atmospheric pressure on the skin, 
pressure on the membranes of the ears, vibrations of the ether, 
response to slight changes in temperature, and a response to sound 

In 1942, Dr. Karl Dallenbach, Michael Supa, and Milton Cotzin 
decided to get at the root of this ability scientifically. They con- 
ducted their experiments at the psychology laboratories of Cornell 
University. Michael Supa, a graduate psychology student at the 

Why Birds Go South 81 

t me, being blind, acted as an experimenter and also as a subject 
along with another blind student and two normal-sighted stu- 

In the first part of the experiment, without sight, the subjects 
were to walk toward a wall over a hardwood floor. They were to 
tell when they first perceived the wall, and then to walk as close 
as possible to the wall without hitting it. 

In their very first trial the blind subjects, Michael Supa and 
Edward Smallwood, were able to perceive the wall as far away 
as eighteen to twenty-five feet. They approached the wall twenty- 
five times, sometimes to within two inches of it without hitting 
it once. Both of these blind chaps required no guidance, stepped 
out unhesitatingly, and walked in a straight line. 

Two students with normal vision were blindfolded and tested 
the same way. As was to be expected, on their first eight to nine 
trials they walked zig zag, ran into the side walls, and hit the 
object wall. However, with about fifty trials they acquired this 
"obstacle sense" while blindfolded, so that they were only a little 
less efficient than the blind students. 

To make a long experiment short, the experimenters showed 
by alternately covering the face, covering the exposed parts of the 
skin, eliminating smell, and by plugging the ears, that the blind 
perceive objects by their sense of hearing. 

It seems that both the blind and the blindfolded students per- 
ceived the wall by the reflected sound waves (echoes) made by 
their footsteps. This was shown by their loss of the ability when 
their ears were plugged, and also by another rather novel ex- 

In this second verification, Michael Supa sat in a closed-off, 
sound-proof room with wired headphones over his ears. The ex- 
perimenter in the other room wore connected earphones and held 
a microphone in his hand as he walked toward the wall. By the 
sound of the experimenter's footsteps transmitted through the 
microphone, Michael Supa in the closed-off room was actually 

82 Psychology for the Millions 

able to tell the experimenter when he was about to touch the wall. 

Some months after the publication of this research in the April 
1944 issue of the American Journal of Psychology, I met Michael 
Supa by appointment in New York. This graduate psychologist 
gave a most amazing, practical demonstration of his well-trained 
hearing sense. He used a cane to tap the ground and so received 
reflected sounds that he needed to guide himself. As he approached 
me he walked in a perfectly straight line on the sidewalk, using 
as his guide the sound echoes that rebounded from the building at 
his left. I told him my automobile was parked some distance away 
at the curb. Tapping his cane he proceeded to walk a distance of 
forty feet to the automobile and actually pointed to the front and 
Tear end. (No, he cannot distinguish between a Studebaker and 
any other car. It happened that there were no others parked 
nearby.) I mentioned a hydrant located up the block. With the 
same facility, Mr. Supa tapped his way unerringly to the hydrant. 

In place of the cane, Mr. Supa told me that he would often snap 
his fingers, click his heels on the floor, or whistle to create the 
sounds he needed to help in his perception. A whistling wind or 
a loud gale blurs his perception as does a fog for the person with 
normal vision. 

Michael Supa is intensely interested in imparting the benefits 
of his psychological findings to all of the blind. Before taking his 
leave he reminded me that neither his sense of hearing, nor that 
of Edward Smallwood and Jake Twersky was more acute than 
average. "Our ability," he stated, "is a learned one. It is a trained 
sense of hearing." 

This is true indeed. Jake Twersky lives in New York City, and 
travels daily from Brooklyn to Manhattan and back. He makes 
his way to the subway trains, and changes from express to local 
trains with never any assistance. He can tell by the difference in 
sound made by the longer and faster express train that it is not 
a local train. 

"Anyone with normal hearing can train themselves to have the 

Why Birds Go South 83 

same ability as Jake Twersky," said Michael Supa. Mr. Supa, the 
psychologist, knows whereof he speaks. Experiments on hundreds 
of blind persons with similar trained senses, have shown that their 
pure hearing acuity is no greater than that of the non-blind. 

It is Mr. Supa's belief that every blind .person should carry a 
cane and train his sense of hearing. The majority of the blind, 
however, prefer not to carry a cane or call attention to their handi- 
cap in any way. If cane-carrying can be made to serve as a seeing 
ear, it should certainly become the practice of the blind. From a 
mental hygiene point of view, open expression by cane-carrying, 
or use of a seeing eye dog, is a great deal healthier than the inhib- 
ited feeling of self consciousness about blindness or any other 
handicap. This is a point of view that thousands of war wounded 
must adopt to retain their equilibrium, and make a normal adjust- 
ment to life despite their impairment. 


What used to be considered a dog's uncanny recognition of his 
master's approach, is now known to be due to the dog's superior 
sensory ability. 

It was mentioned previously that lower animals had a large 
"smell brain." This structure enables a dog to pick up a man's 

The picture of the long-cared, baying bloodhounds searching 
the woods for the escaped convict is a familiar scene to every 
movie-goer. The dog's success in locating his prey is of course not 
dependent upon a bloodhound's instinctive hatred of criminals. 
The dog is permitted to smell some object that contains the scent 
or characteristic body odor of the hunted person. Lacking an 
object, the dog would be taken to the cell formerly occupied by 
the convict to get the spoor. He then proceeds to follow it from 
the underground hole through which the convict dug his way 
out. When the bloodhound gets to the liver he loses the scent 
and the criminal escapes. 

84 Psychology for the Millions 

It is known that some breeds of dogs have a better olfactory 
sensitivity than others. In the New Yor% Times for May 7, 1944, 
we noted that the British War Office had issued an appeal for 
dogs needed to guard airfields. The article stated that the dogs 
are valuable for their ability to scent intruders a couple of hun- 
dred yards away. Particular breeds sought were Alsatians, Labra- 
dors, Kerry blues, and crosses of those breeds. 

This highly sensitive smelling capacity of animals, that fre- 
quently causes them to do things that we regard as instinctive, is 
not restricted to dogs. Elephants and tigers are avowedly deadly 
enemies. The tiger, catching the scent of a distant elephant, is 
noted to growl and snarl ferociously. Hunters on safari, observ- 
ing the elephant a while later, are amazed at the tiger's "instinc- 
tive" knowledge of the presence of his deadly enemy. 

Clyde Beatty, the most fearless animal trainer of all time, re- 
lates an interesting circumstance of an elephant's sensitive smell 
reactions. One day after visiting the tiger's cage, Beatjy approached 
the elephant. This animal caught the hated scent of the tiger and 
ferociously attacked the trainer. Beatty barely escaped with his 

In addition to their acute sense of smell, the lower animals can 
hear sounds that are inaudible to the human ear. Many experi- 
ments in psychological laboratories have demonstrated this abil- 
ity among cats and dogs. Recent experiments on acuity of hearing 
in animals were conducted by Drs. D. Dworkin, J. Katzman, 
G. A. Hutchinson and J. R. McCabe. They showed that cats and 
dogs had better hearing than humans in almost all of the ranges. 
In the high frequencies, they stated, "invariably human hearing 
failed before the animals." Dr. L. A. Andreyev found an upper 
limit of hearing in the dog that approached that of the flying bats. 
The canine hearing range extended to 38,ddo cycles. 

Returning to the dog who "uncannily" recognizes his master's 
approach; it is easy to understand how the animal's sensitive hear- 
ing, coupled with his superior smell capacity would enable him 

Why Birds Go South 85 

to spot his master's familiar scent or tread. We have seen dogs 
jump into the roadway to greet their master's automobile which 
was still a good 300 yards away. An uncanny power? No; probably 
recognition of the characteristic hum made by the family auto- 

It is a curious fact that infants and monkeys are much closer to 
lower animals in their sensory acuity. Dr. J. H. Elder worked 
with chimpanzees and found their hearing far superior to adults. 
He found that infants and young children had a range of hearing 
close to that of the chimpanzees. 

Some scientists explain this greater sensitivity in infants as an 
evolutionary hang-over from- their more primitive ancestral ani- 
mals. It may be likened to the hairy covered new-born babe. The 
concept of an evolutionary hang-over may also serve to explain 
the pregnant woman's well-known hypersensitivity to tastes and 
odors, the pregnancy being reminiscent of the primitive state. 

Of related interest, is the recent work by Dr. C. A. Ellsberg on 
changes in smell sensitivities in women accompanying the men- 
strual cycle. He found their olfactory sense to be much more acute 
than usual just before and during the menstrual period. This he 
attributed to the possible chemical and hormone changes in the 
blood that occurred with menstruation. The most remarkable 
work by Dr. Ellsberg is his ability to diagnose brain tumors from 
the appearance of certain abnormalities in a person's smell re- 
actions. He has been able to verify his diagnoses by x-ray and 
successful operations on fifty-two patients. 


Various night animals, such as owls and bats, are reputed to 
"see" in the dark. The fact is, they are "blind" under daylight 
conditions. And in absolute darkness no living organism can see. 
What, then, is this ability of owls to see at night? Is it a supersti- 
tion ? No. It is true that owls, bats, and other nocturnal animals 
do have extraordinary vision under conditions of very low illumi- 

86 Psychology for the Millions 

nation. The secret of this phenomenon is contained in the explana- 
tion of the mechanics of seeing. 

The human eye has two kinds of receiving cells : rods and cones. 
In the center of the retina (the photographic back plate of the 
eye), there are many thousands of cones but no rod cells. On the 
outer edge of the retina, there are rod cells but no cones. As you 
go from the center to the outer edge, the cones decrease and the 
rods increase in number. 

The cones function for the daytime levels of light while the rods 
are used for twilight vision or light of low intensity. Secondly, 
the cones enable you to see colors, whereas the rods make possible 
only colorless or achromatic vision. 

In a very simple manner you can test for yourself the fact that 
the rods are in the periphery of the retina. Try to look at distant 
stars of very low magnitude. If you gaze at them directly you may 
not see them. Then turn your head to the side and look out of 
the corners of your eyes; you will find that many dim stars have 
suddenly become visible. 

Another condition that illustrates the function of the cones is 
the fact that all normal seeing persons are color blind in the 
extreme outer part of the retina. To test this, hold a colored object 
out to the side at arm's length, and look at it from the corners of 
your eyes. You see it but you can't recognize its color. That's be- 
cause there are only rods on the edges of the retina, but to see color 
you need the cones or central part of the eyes. 

Returning to the owls and bats, we take out their eyes and exam- 
ine the retinas. What do we find ? Only rod-Ufa cells in all of their 
retinas. This accounts for their excellent night vision and practical 
daytime blindness. It also means they are color blind. 

In a similar manner certain human individuals termed dbinos 9 
because of an absence of pigment in their skin and eyes, see so 
poorly under daylight conditions that they must wear smoked 
glasses. Examination shows that their retinas are devoid of cones. 
The smoked glasses reduce the illumination to a point at which 

Why Birds Go South 87 

their rods can function in enabling them to see. Albinos are known 
to be blind at the center of their retinas where the cones are sup- 
posed to be concentrated. They are also totally color blind. 


Related to this subject is the condition of "night blindness." 
By truly ingenious experimental research, it has been shown that 
night blindness is due to a defect in the nutrition of the rod cells. 
A purple pigment, called visual purple r was first discovered in the 
rod cells of the retina by Dr. Boll in 1876. Drs. S. Hecht and 
R. E. Williams later demonstrated that this visual purple was 
used up in the function of the rods or in night vision. Then 
Dr. G. Wald found that the visual purple was very similar to 
vitamin A in its chemical structure. Removal of vitamin A from 
the diet of several animals caused them to become "night blind." 
As soon as the vitamin A was restored to their diet, the animals 
recovered their normal, nocturnal vision. 

Applying these findings to humans, it was learned that feeding 
vitamin A in large amounts improved their condition of "night 
blindness." And that's how eating raw carrots, which are high in 
vitamin A, came to be popular. 


Untaught and unguided young birds will unerringly find their 
way south in the fall and return to the north in the spring. This is 
known as their seasonal migration. 

The mystery of their movements raises two interesting ques- 
tions: What maizes birds change their .home twice a year? and 
How do these winged creatures find their way without a compass? 

We used to give as our answer to these questions the unsatisfac- 
tory reply that bird migrations were accomplished by instinct. 
Within recent years, however, the problem has been experimen- 
tally approached and some reasonable answers postulated. 

88 Psychology for the Millions 

Professor William Rowan, of the University of Alberta, sus- 
pected that the changes in the length of the days had some influ- 
ence in affecting bird migrations. After five years of trial experi- 
mentation on finches, canaries and juncos, he was prepared for 
his major experiment. So he obtained some crows and divided 
them into two groups : a control group and an experimental group. 
He exposed the control group to a regular decrease in daily illumi- 
nation as the days became normally shorter during September and 
October way up north in Alberta, Canada. To the experimental 
group of crows, by the use of electric lights, he gave a daily increase 
of 7^2 minutes of light over each day's previous illumination. 

Thus, one group of crows was exposed to normal, early winter 
days of lessening daylight, while the other group received spring- 
time days of increasing daylight. In the matter of feeding, and 
exposure to winter temperatures in unheated coops, the two groups 
were treated alike. After about a month and a half, both groups 
of crows were carefully examined. 

Dr. Rowan found that the crows of both groups differed radi- 
cally in their sexual growth. The sex organs of the control birds 
were in their typical wintertime shrunken condition. But in the 
experimental birds, their gonads (testes or ovaries) had grown 
to normal, large springtime size, as if prepared for mating. The 
experimental birds sang actively as they do in the springtime, 
while the normals were silent. After examination the birds were 
marked with bands and released. 

When released, most of the control birds flew southward as they 
normally would. But the majority of the now sexually mature 
crows, despite the winter conditions, headed further north into 
the colder regions. 

Supporting these results, Dr. Rowaipt reports that in a subsequent 
experiment, "castrated birds given increased illumination failed 
to go north, evidently reflecting the removal of their reproductive 

By his experiments, this Canadian Professor of Zoology seems 

Why Birds Go South 89 

to have answered the first question. That is, birds migrate season- 
ally because of a change in the growth of their sex organs. 

Further research disclosed the following explanation of the 
connection between prolonged daily light stimulation and the 
growth of the birds' sex organs. It seems that there are two pos- 
sible stimulants. The first, is the increased light itself, and the 
second, is the increased wakef ulness and activity that accompanies 
the added illumination. Whatever the stimulus is light, wake- 
fulness, or both it acts on the pituitary gland, which secretes 
hormones to stimulate the growth of the sex organs. The enlarged 
sex organs, in turn, cause the birds to migrate because it changes 
their sensitivity to their environment. 

The specific change in the birds is thought to be an increased 
sensitivity to the temperature of the environment. This developed 
temperature discomfort appears to be the crux of the answer to 
our other question as to how birds know which direction is north, 
and which is south. 

The birds' enlarged sex organs cause increased activity, and 
are accompanied by increased metabolism or body heat. This con- 
dition, it is supposed, causes the overheated birds to look for 
regions of lower temperature as they fly. And being in the south 
during their period of sexual enlargement, they fly in the direc- 
tion of cooler temperatures, which is northward. This last theory, 
of direction being governed by temperature of the environment, 
is by no means firmly established. But it is certain that glandular, 
sex organ changes are responsible for causing birds to migrate. 

All this reminds us of the parallel in man, when "in spring a 
young man's fancy turns to things." 


Salmon who return to spawn and die where they were born, 
have delighted salmon cann,ers and puzzled ichthyologists for 
centuries. Salmon are born or* spawned way up at the top or head- 

90 Psychology for the Millions 

stream and enter the ocean. They feed and grow in the ocean for 
about three to four years, where they become mature. At this time 
they leave the ocean and return to the river. These mature salmon 
swim upstream, buck the current, and jump waterfalls to reach 
the headwaters of the stream where they lay and hatch their eggs; 
frequently in the very same stream where they were born. The 
Pacific species of salmon die after spawning. The Atlantic salmon 
may return to the sea, subsequently to enter a stream and spawn 

This bit of piscatorial migratory behavior, as in the migration 
of birds, raises two questions: First, why do salmon migrate from 
the stream to the ocean and bac\ again? Second, how do they 
makf their way down and bac^? 

Whatever answers can be given to these questions at present are 
due to the collective efforts of research by such men as Professors 
W. H. Rich, A. G. Huntsman, H. B. Ward, F. L. Roule and a host 
of other ichthyologists. By clipping the fins and tagging the tails, 
these men have endeavored to follow the movements of marked 

The facts as disclosed by their studies indicate that the young 
salmon leaves the stream because of a gradual loss of skin pig- 
mentation. Originally, this skin pigmentation protects the under- 
lying layers of the fish from the irritating effects of surface light. 
With the loss of the pigment, the young fish is so irritated by ordi- 
nary daylight that he is rendered inactive, and is carried down- 
stream by the current, tail first. To avoid the light, the salmon con- 
tinues to seek the deeper waters until he reaches the middle depths 
of the ocean. 

These observations are further confirmed by the fact that many 
species of trout, closely related to the salmon, which are not subject 
to the reduction in skin pigmentation, remain in fresh water 
streams. (Anglers, take note!) The Steelhead trout, which loses 
its pigmentation, migrates, as does its close relative, the Atlantic 
salmon, and both are thus found in the ocean. 

Why Birds Go Soufu 


The Curtis Publishing Cr 

'He sure deserves a mate, all right" 

We now know why salmon go downstream. But why do they 
come back up again after three or four years in the ocean ? 

After three to four years in the ocean, the salmon reaches ma- 
turity. Sex again enters the picture. The glandular changes accom- 
panying sexual maturity create in the salmon a need for more 
oxygen. The ocean salt water, with its lower supply of oxygen, 
becomes uncomfortable. The salmon therefore swims toward the 

92 Psychology for the Millions 

fresher waters of the river. Furthermore, the increased sexual 
growth of the salmon raises its activity and its body metabolism. 
In the same manner that the sexually mature bird chooses cooler 
climates, so the mature salmon seeks colder water and more 

By studying the route of the Alaska red salmon, and testing the 
water, Professor H. B. Ward found that, as it fought its way up- 
stream, the salmon at every junction chose the stream of colder 
water. At the headwaters of the stream they were characteristically 
found spawning in certain places around the lake. Temperature 
readings showed that those spots were always below 37 F. 

The results of these scientific observations lead us to the follow- 
ing answers to our questions about the behavior of salmon. First, 
salmon migrate to the ocean because of a reduced pigmentation 
resulting in an increased sensitivity to light. After sexual maturity, 
the salmon head bac\ for the stream because of a greater need for 
oxygen and lower temperatures. 

One question in all this has never been answered satisfactorily. 
Why do certain salmon pass up nearer streams on their way back 
to get to the very one in which they were born? Could it be that 
they like to sleep in their own bed ? 


The last question that we left unanswered for the salmon is fre- 
quently referred to as the "homing instinct" in certain animals. 
Most of us have been astounded at one time or another at the 
ability of an animal to find its way home from an entirely strange 
locality. Did you ever try to lose a cat ? 

Francis H. Herrick, a professor of psychology, tried it. In an 
experiment he took a cat out six times into strange territory from 
one to three miles from its home. He transported the cat in a car, 
kept her in a sack on the way out, and once even drugged her. She 
returned home unaided every time. But here's the catch: 

When taken only i mile from hoqne, the cat returned in 8 hours. 

Why Birds Go South 93 

When taken 3 miles away, it took her 78 hours to get back. And 
when anesthetized before being taken out 1/^2 miles, it took her 
70 hours to return. 

Do cats have an "instinctive or gifted sense of direction" ? Or do 
they roam around until they find familiar sensory cues in the 
environment? The latter would certainly seem to be the case. If 
this cat found its way by a "sense of direction" it should not have 
taken almost ten times as long to get home from a distance only 
three times as far. To clinch the experiment, and because the cat 
had been killing too many chickens, Professor Herrick took her 
i6j/2 miles from home. She never found her way back. 

Make no mistake about Professor Herrick's opinion of cats; he 
thinks highly of them. Listen to what he says. "The cat has keen 
tactual, visual and auditory senses, but its nose is small and rather 
weak, its endurance in relation to its bodily strength is phenome- 
nal, and we cannot but admire its marvelous powers of coordina- 
tion and control; fecund and endowed with a vitality which in the 
popular mind extends far beyond life's usual limits, the cat is un- 
surpassed as mother and nurse, and in this field her instinct is 
never failing." 


The most amazing tales about animals finding their way home 
are associated not with cats, dogs, or fishes, but with birds. The 
specialist in this ability among the feathered creatures is the 
"homing pigeon," so named because of his exceptional ability to 
find his home under even adverse circumstances. 

Man's use of this bird's remarkable ability to return to its roost 
dates from several centuries B.C. At the Grecian Olympics, each 
district used to bring carrier pigeons that were sent home with the 
messages of the victories. In 1146, pigeons carried the mail for 
the Khalif of Bagdad between Egypt and Syria. The House of 
Rothschild in London employed pigeons to receive premature 
news of Napoleon's battles from messages dispatched by their 

94 Psychology for the Millions 

agents with Napoleon's army. In the second World War, more 
than 100,000 pigeons were carried in mobile lofts to be used by the 
armed forces of the United Nations. 

How does the pigeon accomplish this amazing feat of finding 
its home loft from a distance of a hundred and even a thousand 
miles ? In order that you are not misled, it should be stated here 
and now, that the exact answer is not known. However, it has been 
adequately shown that the homing ability of pigeons is not due 
to any mystic new "sense of direction." 

Learning, through sight and memory, seems to be the factor 
that enables pigeons to find their way home. In a rather exhaustive 
review of all the theories found in scientific literature, Lucien H. 
Warner concludes in favor of the above theory. He points to the 
following facts: 

Racing pigeons and messenger pigeons must be trained. The 
general public may not be aware of it, but pigeon races, over hun- 
dreds of miles, are a matter of enthusiastic interest for thousands 
of bird fanciers. From racing pigeon trainers, it is learned that a 
pigeon trained to race in one direction will not be successful start- 
ing from points in the other direction. In training, the birds fly 
in ever widening circles to learn the lay of the land. As in bird 
migrations, fog, snow and rain interfere with the pigeon's ability 
to find its home. Few pigeons can return home at night. Blind 
birds are incapable of homing even over' short distances. 

And to quote from a recent news item on Army pigeons in 
World War II: "A pigeon will not fly after dark even though he 
may be over the ocean. He will settle down into the water and 

Using a cleverly designed maze, Ralph H. Gundlach, Professor 
of Psychology at the University of Washington, tested three cats 
and three homing pigeons for their "sense of direction." He used 
a maze shaped like a plus ( + ) sign. He varied the entrances of 
the animals and by devious means, without physically touch- 
ing the animals, he eliminated the possibility of their using sight, 

Why Birds Go South 93 

hearing, smell or kinesthesia in solving the maze. One factor was 
kept constant. That is, the exit or goal (the home as it were) with 
the food, the nest, the mate, and the young was always placed 
toward the north. 

The cats were given 800 trials and the pigeons no trials over a 
period of three months. No one of the six animals was able after 
all that time and training to solve the maze consistently. 

If these creatures possess some instinctive sense, a sense of direc- 
tion, a magnetic sense, or any other unknown sense, Professor 
Gundlach's experiment shows that these mystic senses are of no 
avail without the use of the well-known senses of sight, smell, 
hearing, and kinesthesia. 

All of the circumstances indicate that homing behavior in cats 
as well as pigeons is a learned act chiefly dependent upon sight 
and memory rather than any undefined "sense of direction." By 
the same token, the mountain guide does not have an "instinctive 
sense of direction." He depends upon his memory gleaned from a 
wealth of experience that gives him innumerable subtle clues of 
which he may not be consciously aware. The fact that neither the 
guide nor the pigeon has an uncanny directional sense need in no 
way cause us to minimize our opinion of the usefulness of their 
highly developed homing abilities. 


Reference to uncanny senses calls to mind an item quoted in 
Carl A. Naether's The Boo]^ of the Pigeon. An excellent book this; 
I borrowed some of the pigeon history from it. Mr. Naethcr, a 
Professor of English at the University of Southern California, 
cites the interesting case of the swallows at the mission of San 
Juan Capistrano, California. They are famous for the fact that 
they leave promptly on the 23rd of October and return regularly 
on the ipth of March. "No scientist has yet offered a satisfactory 
explanation for this astounding exhibition of a sense of time/ 9 
states Professor Naether. 

96 Psychology for the Millions 

Nor is Professor Naether being loose about his language. Else- 
where in his book he states that we may assume that the racing 
pigeon "has a faculty which enables it when released away from 
home to sense the home direction and to fly in this direction imme- 
diately upon liberation.'* 

I shall not pretend to be the scientist to explain the phenome- 
non of the San Juan Capistrano swallows. However, their punctu- 
ality of coming and going does not necessarily point to an "exhi- 
bition of a sense of time." Here is an analogy in humans. Annually, 
in certain parts of Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Massa- 
chusetts, Pennsylvania, and Illinois more than 1,000,000 persons 
can tell, without any calendar knowledge, when August i5th rolls 
around. On that day these persons know it is August i5th because 
they start to sneeze, wheeze, and sniffle. These unfortunates have 
no superior "sense of time." What they do have, is hay fever. On 
August I5th ragweed plants begin to give off their pollen, which 
is the cause of the human discomfort, I know about this because I 
have hay fever and wrote a book about it last year. (Plug!) 

To carry the analogy further; on August i5th thousands of 
persons with hay fever leave their homes for ragweed-free north- 
ern havens such as Mackinaw City, Michigan; Isle Royal, Minne- 
sota; Rangeley, Maine; Portland, Oregon; and Twin Mountain, 
New Hampshire. They return to their homes on October i5th 
when the ragweed has stopped pollinating. This is dated migra- 
tion. Need it be governed by any sense of time? 

It is well known that thousands of plants and trees show visible, 
annual changes on specific dates. The trees and plants have no 
"sense of time." This suggests the possibility that the swallows of 
San Juan Capistrano may be guided by some annual time-chang- 
ing element such as the plants or trees in their environment. Pos- 
sibly they are guided by the daily changes in the length of day, 
somewhat in the manner described in Professor Rowan's experi- 
ments with crows. 

Why Birds Go South 97 


At the outset of the second World War, millions of Americans 
hoarded sugar, coffee, and canned stocks. Their behavior was 
by no means instinctive. They were acting on their experience 
during the first World War. 

Dogs bury too many bones, bees store too much honey, chip- 
munks, squirrels and rats store away more food than they can 
possibly eat. It would seem that they are hoarding food for a rainy 
day because they have been hungry at some time. But this is not 
so easily proven. Experimenters have taken rats and fed them a 
liberal supply of food throughout their previous lifetime; never 
allowing them to be hungry for want of a food supply. Yet at the 
first opportunity, the rat hoards some extra pellets of food. We 
ask, "Why?" But the answer is not yet known to psychologists 
or biologists. Nor do we obtain the answer by calling it the 
"hoarding instinct." 

Experiments have shown that animals deprived of food in early 
infancy will tend to hoard more and eat more in adulthood. An 
experiment with two groups of animals indicated that frustrating 
the animals in their attempt to obtain food as against merely 
depriving them of food, raised their subsequent hoarding activi- 
ties. These are evidences of psychological or environmental factors 
which influence hoarding behavior. 

Many writers have noted similar tendencies among men both 
famous and infamous. In writing of Babe Ruth, Paul Gallico states, 
"There was a time when he was undernourished and sometimes 
starving. No man who has ever gone hungry ever quite forgets it." 
One paragraph later, Mr. Gallico, an extremely keen student of 
human nature who has gained an enviable knowledge of psychol- 
ogy by a life of intimacy with all manner of people in places high 
and low, asks: "Is any man who has starved and lived meanly, 
geared to accept and handle sudden wealth? And yet the most 

98 Psychology for the Millions 

harmful thing that Babe Ruth in all his life ever did with his 
money was one time to nearly kill himself through overeating. 
Whether or not it grew out of his early unsatisfied hungers, he 
was a glutton. One afternoon in some dreadful little Southern 
whistle stop . . . eye witnesses say he ate twelve frankfurters 
washed down with eight bottles of pop." 

Concerning Charlie Chaplin, it is related that in childhood he 
was as poor as it was possible to be. Alistair Cooke recounts that, 
"it took him years to get the habit of wealth." Chaplin banked his 
money and lived in a bed-sitting-room at the Hollywood Athletic 
Club. Upon urging from his brother he finally went to the bank 
to find out how much money he had, and was "appalled to dis- 
cover he had upwards of $900,000" yet did not own an automobile 
or a home. 

While these are not exactly examples of hoarding (in fact, Babe 
Ruth has always been a reputable spendthrift), they serve as a 
suitable analogy to illustrate that adult hoarding or gluttony, 
whether it be animal or human, is likely to have its origin in child- 
hood experience rather than as any instinct or racial inheritance 
for thriftiness, as is often erroneously implied. 


Like the migration of birds, hibernation is a seasonal type of 
animal behavior believed to be instinctive. Bears, bats, wood- 
chucks, ground squirrels, hedgehogs, raccoons, skunks, and badg- 
ers seclude themselves for the winter and go into a deep stupor 
resembling sleep. 

Howthese warm-blooded mammals can do without food or water 
for as much as three months, and come out of their sleep ready for 
healthy reproduction is a scientific wonder. Their ability to assume 
suspended animation is beyond the dream of any Hindu that ever 
had himself sealed and submerged in a metal casket. Largely 
through the efforts of George E. Johnson and A. T. Rasmussen 
who have dug the animals out of their holes and experimented 

Why Birds Go South 99 

with them, do we now know what goes on in the hibernating state. 
Literally, the answer would seem to be, "very little." 

All of the body functions of the hibernating animals slow down 
to a snail's pace. The temperature may drop to 32 F. but they don't 
even shiver. Their metabolism or fuel burning rate is way down. 
Their blood sugar level is extremely diminished. The heart rate 
and glandular action are almost at a standstill. But still they live. 

Doctors have witnessed the counterpart of these conditions in 
humans. Dr. Temple Fay and Dr. Lawrence Smith of Temple 
University have refrigerated some patients in an attempt to cure 
deep lying severe cancer. By bringing human body temperatures 
down to 89 F. they stopped and reduced tissue growth in body 
cancers. Ultimately this freezing technique did not prove to be 
an effective cure for cancer. But it did show that humans could 
approach conditions similar to the hibernation of animals. 

It is known that not all hibernating animals, of even the same 
species, indulge themselves in hibernation to the same extent. Mr. 
Lee Crandall, general curator of the New York Zoo, told us about 
the diverse actions of their two European brown bears. Mrs. 
Brown Bear hops into her den at the first crack of winter and 
stays there. When she comes out in the spring she has a few cubs. 
Mr. Brown Bear goes into hibernation much later. But he goes 
in and comes out several times during the winter, and if the 
weather is warm enough he may not hibernate at all. "This tend- 
ency of lesser hibernation on the part of male bears is character- 
istic," said Mr. Crandall. 

The question arises: What causes an animal to hibernate? The 
answer, with reference to external conditions, seems to be quite 
definite; namely, low temperature and lack of food. Professor 
Johnson has been able to make squirrels go into hibernation dur- 
ing the summer by putting them in the refrigerator, starving 
them, or feeding them dried out typical winter-time food. As for 
internal conditions he found that fatness is important in causing 
animals to hibernate. It is Professor Johnson's opinion that lack 

ioo Psychology for the Millions 

of fatness probably keeps captive animals awake in the winter. 
That hibernation is an animal response to its environment seems 

What is not so easily understood, however, is why the bodies of 
these creatures accommodate to the external environment. Why 
don't wild rabbits, cats, dogs, and birds do the same thing ? Why 
can't arctic explorers living for months in the darkness of the 
cold north, dig in and hibernate ? 

In the answer to this question, one feature of hibernating ani- 
mals appears to be significant. Professor Johnson has found that 
the normal body temperature of a ground squirrel will vary from 
84.2 F. to 107.6 F. with a changing room temperature. The out- 
standing characteristic of humans and non-hibernating warm- 
blooded animals is the constancy of their normal body tempera- 
ture, a major disturbance of which causes death. 

Therefore, hibernating animals differ from non-hibernators in 
that they do not have the mechanism for peeping their body at a 
constant temperature. The exact part of the anatomy that is miss- 
ing has not yet been determined. The act of hibernation thus serves 
to conserve the life of these animals who do not have the control- 
ling mechanism to maintain their body temperature in the face 
of extreme cold as man can do, for instance. 


We have discussed some of the most legendary of animal in- 
stincts. They are also the most difficult to explain. There are many 
additional examples of interesting animal behavior that were not 
included, some of which are truly instinctive, such as nest build- 
ing in birds, suckling of the young in mammals, and copulation 
between the sexes. 

Several interesting examples of animal 'behavior that are erro- 
neously thought to be instinctive, include such riddles as the fol- 
lowing: Do cats kill rats instinctively? Are cats instinctively afraid 
of water? Are dogs and cats instinctive enemies? Will canaries 

Why Birds Go South 101 

reared in isolation sing instinctively iVSimple and rather conclusive 
experiments give a negative answer to each of these questions. 
None of this behavior can be said to be instinctive. 

You are now ready to ask, What is an instinct? What acts can 
we properly speak of as being instinctive? The answer to these 
questions requires a bit of interesting psychological history. 

When discussing humans, psychologists, would-be psycholo- 
gists, and popular writers have confused instincts with reflex acts, 
habits, acquired skills, and acquired attitudes. The popular writers 
speak of fighters "ducking instinctively," of children with an "in- 
stinctive fear of animals," and of casanovas with "the instincts of 
a gentleman." There are no instincts in ducking, fearing, or being 
polite; they are all acquired. In truth, the psychologists are as 
much to blame as popular writers for a general confusion that 
exists with reference to the terms "instinct" and "instinctive." 

Instead of adhering to the original definition of instincts the 
psychologists all had pet theories about them. One of the earliest 
and foremost was the father of American psychology, William 
James. He claimed that man had more instincts than any other 
animal. His lengthy list of instincts included crying, curiosity, 
sociability, shyness, cleanliness, pugnacity, sympathy, and many 
others. Next came Professor William McDougall, who considered 
all behavior as an expression of innate impulses. He added escape, 
repulsion, food seeking, sneezing, laughing, and other minor and 
major instincts, as he classed them. A few years later, the now 
famous Professor Edward L. Thorndike, offered his list, including 
gregariousness, paternal behavior, fighting, anger, mastery, fear, 
disgust, and others. The race was on. As might be expected, many 
would-be psychologists got into the swim and helped to swell 
the inventory of so-called instinctive behavior. Then in 1924, 
Luther L. Bernard, a sociologist, looked into the psychology books, 
and found 849 separate types of instincts. He found "an instinct 
to avoid eating apples" and "an instinct to insert the fingers into 
crannies to dislodge small animals hidden there." 

IO2 Psychology for the Millions 

Then came the reaction. Professor John B. Watson, the be- 
haviorist, showed that the writers were confusing acquired habits 
with instincts. Agreeing with him, Professor Knight Dunlap 
pointed out that most human behavior was affected by learning. 
It could not therefore be innate, which was a prerequisite of an 
instinctive act. Professor John F. Dashiell pointed out that some 
were using the term instinct to refer to an activity; such as eating, 
fighting, or copulation. Others were using the term to describe 
the body urges that called out these acts; such as hunger, pain, 
and sex. 

A few psychologists concluded that there were only three real 
instincts: sex, fear and anger. Freud claimed there were only two 
basic instincts: the sexual and the self-preservative. Another stated 
that the only two instincts that existed in man were self-preserva- 
tion and race preservation. Finally the psychologists decided to 
banish the term "instincts." 

It seems that some of the best modern psychologists got to- 
gether and decided that they had better give the word "instinct" 
back to the Indians. This word is not for us, they concluded. The 
common people have abused it and misused it, the pervert shall 
be theirs. Psychologists shall rather speak of unlearned motives, 
urges, drives, and impulses in discussing humans. In the case of 
animals the term instincts may still apply, they thought, but there 
was doubt in their mind as to whether it should be used at all. 
Be that as it may, on behalf of the common people this writer will 
accept, but with one reservation; that we who study and write 
about psychology do not create a circle of confusion around a sub- 
stitute word such as "impulse," "urge," or "drive." 

Such is the story of the words "instinct" and "instinctive." Nor 
is this a popular writer's fancy. I quote from the 1940 edition of 
the textbook, Psychology, by the highly respected Professor Robert 
S. Woodworth. He says, "On the whole, we shall save trouble by 
minimizing the use of both terms, instinct and habit, and leaving 
both to be terms of popular rather than of scientific use." Search- 

Why Birds Go South 103 

ing through the Index of Professor Woodworth's 1940 book, I 
find only two, single-page references to the word "instinct." But 
in the 1921 edition of the same book by Professor Woodworth, 
there is reference to a total of fifty-eight pages in eleven different 
notations pertaining to the word "instinct." In the authoritative 
textbook, A Briefer Psychology, by the equally highly regarded 
Professor Gardner Murphy, I find in the Index, next to the word 
"instinct," this notation, "Because of confused popular usage, the 
term is disappearing from scientific use. See Drive." From these 
two authorities we may thus take our present-day scientific psy^ 
chological attitude toward the term "instinct." 

In the field of animal behavior, the term is still applicable to 
such acts as building nests, migration, hibernation, copulation, 
suckling, etc. The proper understanding and physiological ex- 
planation of such acts as these need not be interpreted as their 
elimination from the class of instincts. The animal scientists seem 
to take this point of view. We should follow them. Was it not they 
who properly described and explored these phenomena at the 
same time that they called them instincts ? Professors Rowan and 
Bissonnette, ornithologists, enlightened us about bird migrations. 
Professors Roule, Ward, and Huntsman, ichthyologists, told us 
about the salmon. Professors Johnson, and Griffin and Galambos, 
zoologists, gave us our knowledge about hibernation and obstacle 
avoidance by bats. It is significant, that despite their success in 
describing the physiology underlying some of these animal won- 
ders, they properly continue to refer to them as instincts. These 
men are scientists. They know their ground. 

Psychology must not make the mistake of removing a*truly in- 
stinctive animal act such as migration, from the class of instincts 
merely because the mystery of its accomplishment comes to be 

For our purposes we will follow a path agreeable to both the 
psychologists and the biological scientists. The term instincts will 
be little used for humans. Applied to animals it will continue. 

104 Psychology for the Millions 

Whenever used in its true sense, the scientific definition of the 
term instinct shall be implied. 

In conclusion let us try to get straightened out on the use of 
the term instinct. Here are some rules that we can all follow. 

The word "instinct" should only be employed in its strict sci- 
entific meaning. In its original, scientific definition, "instinct" 
applies to: innate, unlearned, relatively unchangeable behavior in 
response to a normal environment, and is universal to a sp&ies. 
In other words an instinctive act must meet these four conditions: 
have a hereditary basis; should not be acquired; should be rela- 
tively unchangeable in a normal environment; should be universal 
to a species. 

The term "instinct" should not be substituted for an explanation 
of the basis of behavior. 

An act should not be called instinctive merely because its basis 
is unknown, such as was applied to blind persons who are aware 
of objects in their path. 

Instincts should never be used to imply mystic or unproven 
senses such as a "psychic sense" in the charlatan performer who 
pretends to read your mind, or a "sense of time" in the swallow 
that migrates on regular dates. 

In the four previous chapters we have covered what may be 
considered the physiological basis for behavior. In all that follows 
we will be attempting a mental or psychological interpretation of 
behavior. But at no time should one consider the mental effects 
to be divorced from the bodily components of the person or per- 
sons to whom the psychology is being applied. In most instances, 
the inextricable tie-up between body and mind or physiology and 
psychology will be immediately apparent. Nowhere, is this one- 
ness of body and mind development and function more visible 
than in the untutored infant. Let us therefore begin to trace our 
knowledge of psychological development where it begins in the 
newborn infant. 




/ER body squirms, twists, rolls and bends. Her back arches, 
the hips sway and her head rolls from side to side or is thrown 
back. The arms slash vigorously and the legs are kicked in ex- 
aggerated thrusts or are flexed at ankle, knee and hip." 

No, this is not a description of a South Sea Island dancer. It is 
not the spiel of a Coney Island barker. It is, in fact, a psychologist's 
report on the movements of a newborn baby. Nor are these the 
sum-total of the infant's abilities. On the very first day she sucks, 
swallows, sneezes, vomits, defecates, stretches, hiccoughs, blinks, 
grunts, and even cries. Quite a repertoire for a creature that was 
only an embryo yesterday. 

With very little prodding the newborn shows all this ability to 
the hospital nurses. When you get her home she has a few more 
tricks to show you in response to a little stimulation. Some of these 
responses are called reflex acts. They are unlearned, require no 
thought, and cannot be controlled by the infant's will. They used 
to be called instincts but we now know better. 


If you place your finger in an infant's palm, he will grasp it and 
hold tightly, sometimes, tight enough for you to lift him up. This 
is known as the grasping reflex. It normally disappears after the 
age of about four months. 

106 Psychology for the Millions 

Shining a bright light into an infant's eye is a mean trick, but 
it will cause his pupil to contract. This pupillary reflex is present 
in all infants with normal vision from their second day of strife 
until it's all over. 

Most infants will curl their toes and extend their big toe when 
you tickle the sole of their foot. This plantar reflex normally 
changes after the first or second year. After the age of two, tickling 
the sole of the foot causes a flexion of the toes. If there is a defect in 
certain parts of the spinal column, the adult shows what is called 
the Babinsty sign or an extension of the big toe. 

The \nee jerJ{ or patellar reflex is the one seen most often in 
the movies. It results from tapping the patellar tendon just below 
the kneecap. The response is a kicking out of the foot. But if you 
don't kick when tapped, it does* not mean that you are abnormal. 
This reaction is normally absent in a small percentage of the 

These reflexes are signs of normal development. Used by the 
trained expert, he can tell that the nerve and muscle connections 
are progressing according to schedule. This idea of development 
and progression according to schedule is called maturation. It is 
the psychologist's extension of our every day word "maturity." 
If an infant grows normally, we can expect certain abilities to 
mature at approximately definite periods. These abilities that de- 
velop with time or maturation require little or no help to bring 
them out. 


If your great aunt ever boasts that she taught you to walk 
differ with her. What if she does cut you out of her will ? You will 
be a martyr to scientific truth. Tell her that it was chiefly through 
maturation that you came to walk. You can cite some clever ex- 
periments to prove your point. 

An English scientist, D. A. Spalding, showed that birds do not 
have to learn how to fly. From the time they were hatched, he 

Problem Children and Problem Parents 107 

confined some swallows in small boxes so that they could not see 
other birds or use their wings. He fed them through an opening 
in the box. After the normal period of time for flying had passed, 
he released the birds, and away they flew. 

In 1926, Leonard Carmichael did a similar experiment on swim- 
ming, using frogs and salamanders. He took one group of em- 
bryos and placed them in an anesthetizing solution which pre- 
vented any external movement, but permitted normal growth. 
He left the other group to develop normally in fresh water. 
After the normal embryos developed into swimming tadpoles he 
took the anesthetized tadpoles and placed them in the fresh water. 
At the end of thirty minutes, the time it took the anesthetic to wear 
off, the drugged tadpoles were swimming as well as the others. If 
birds can fly and fishes can swim without being taught, why can't 
babies walk without lessons from aunty? 

The answer, according to psychologists, is that babies don't need 
any lessons in walking. Dr. Mary Shirley, at the University of 
Minnesota, spent two years studying twenty-five newborn infants. 
She kept daily records of their movements right from birth. She 
found that they showed a regular sequence of progress toward 
walking. With natural growth and time, all of the infants passed 
through definite stages from moving on their belly, to walking 

This regular sequence of improvement that gradually accom- 
panies an increase in age is typical of maturation rather than learn- 
ing. Most of the children sat up at four months, stood up at nine 
months, and walked by fifteen months. The progression of the 
average child from birth to walking is shown by Dr. Shirley's 
clever silhouette pictures on page 108. 

Drs. Arnold Gesell and Helen Thompson at the Yale Clinic of 
Child Development experimented with a set of identical twins. 
At 10^2 months they started a six week training period in stair 
climbing for one of the infants. After the other twin was a year 
old, they gave her a two week training period. After this, they 

io8 Psychology for the Millions 

tested both infants. The baby with less practice, who had started 
when she was older, proved to be the better of the two. 

While this result is based on only one case, it happens to be 
characteristic. Similar experiments bear out this result. They show 
that if teaching and training are to be successful, they must await 
the process of sufficient growth or development. For example, 
before a child can be trained not to wet or dirty there must be de- 





/*OMV amc. 

The approximate ages at which stages in motor development occur in 

children. These stages represent the general order of development, not 

the exact time. (From M. M. Shirley, The First Two Years, 

U. of Minn. Press) 

veloped within the child the muscle and nerve connections for 
bladder and rectal control. Until such time, which is about eight 
months, a mother should not expect her teaching to be effective. 
The same holds true in all other aspects of the child's develop- 
ment, such as talking, eating, dressing, reasoning, and so forth. 


Carrying the question of maturation and learning into adult- 
hood, Professor Robert S. Woodworth has drawn up an interesting 

Problem Children and Problem Parents 


pictorial graph. Taking his information from scientific studies on 
writers, baseball players, inventors, musicians and scientists, he 
shows the typical curves of growth and decline in these fields. 
From Professor Woodworth's graph you can see at a glance that 

10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 
Years of Age 

From JR. S. Woodworth, Psychology, Henry Holt, Publishers 

writers produce their greatest works between the ages of 30 to 45. 
Musicians show their greatest output at about 35 years of age. In- 
ventors get there from 30 to 37. Scientists achieve their height at 
about 33, baseball players at 28. Intellects are keenest at age 18. 

no Psychology for the muttons 

The drop-off in attainments is sharpest among baseball players, 
while writers remain productive for the longest period. The dif- 
ference between knowledge and intellectual alertness is brought 
out clearly. Knowledge is seen to retain its high level, but mental 
alertness decreases gradually from age eighteen. 


Returning to the study of children, we find that experimental 
child psychologists have gathered a wealth of valuable informa- 
tion for mothers on the important aspects of child training. The 
aim of their work is to find the best answers to such parental ques- 
tions as the following: 

When should a baby normally start to walk? When should the 
baby begin to talk? How do you make a child keep his bed dry? 
How can I make my child eat? What should I do about my child's 
left handedness? What is the best time to begin training my child 
in toilet habits? How can I prevent my child from stammering? 
My child sucks his thumb, how should I manage him? 

Let us consider some of these problems, among others, in the 
normal training of children. 


The child learns to speak by imitation. It will mimic the sounds 
it hears. If brought up in isolation a child will have no language. 
Children who are deaf but not dumb are unable to speak. They 
have never heard human speech. 

If a mother lisps or talks baby-talk a child will follow suit unless 
otherwise trained. Opportunities for hearing correct speech are 
essential. If the language in the home is English, that will be the 
child's language. If the child is reared among persons who speak 
Pig Latin, he will speak Pig Latin. The Baboon Boy of South 
Africa was about thirteen when first discovered living among a 
group of baboons. He was caught by two troopers of the Cape 

Problem Children and Problem Parents 1 1 1 

Mounted Police. According to an account in Science, by John P. 
Foley of George Washington University, the boy had been nur- 
tured by the baboons. "He could not speak, but chattered like an 
ape. He was mischievous and wild and full of monkey tricks." It 
was later reported that with continued human associations, "the 
Baboon Boy became a dependable worker, showed remarkable 
intelligence, and developed the use of language, by which he was 
able to relate details of his past life among the baboons." 

Most children brought up among humansiutter their first word 
(mama) at about ten months. At one year, they have 3 words ;*at 
fifteen months, their vocabulary extends to 19 words; at eighteen 
months, it is 22 words; and by two years they are in command of 
272 words. These are merely averages. Lack of vocabulary in a 
child, even up to two years, should not be a cause for parental con- 
cern if no disorder is noted by the physician. A recent biography on 
Einstein stated that, "he was so slow at learning to talk that even 
his parents thought he was subnormal and his teachers considered 
him stupid." 

The Dionne quintuplets had a vocabulary of only u words by 
the time they were one month short of three years. Under the con- 
stant supervision of a medical doctor and a psychologist, there was 
"a healthy matter-of-factness" attached to their shortcoming. The 
reasons for their backwardness is suggested by Dr. Blatz, the 
quintuplet's psychologist, in his book, The Five Sisters. He attrib- 
utes their retardation to several factors. The children had learned 
to understand each other's gestures too well ; the constant attention 
of nurses gave them no need to communicate early wants; and 
their isolation deprived them of the normal social contacts of meet- 
ing strange children. We have recently learned that the five sisters 
are up to average, and speak both French and English fluently. 


One of the most serious, curable speech disorders is stuttering or 
stammering. The figures show that more than half of those who 

ii2 Psychology -for the Millions 

stutter^ begin at the age of four or five. It used to be mystifying 
that in such a child, the words would flow fluently for one mo- 
ment, and the next moment the child would stumble, repeat, and 
get all tied up in the sputter of the very same words. 

This mystery was cleared up when it was learned that most 
stuttering has a psychological origin. Stuttering is a symptom of 
social- maladjustment. It is a compensation or outlet mechanism 
that attaches itself to a child because of fear, self-consciousness, a 
feeling of inferiority, thwartings, or too much parental supervi- 

Stammering presents a deep psychological situation. You will 
note that I did not say, as many authors do, "that the child adopts 
this compensation mechanism." The child does not consciously 
say or think, "I am thwarted, I will stutter." The outlet in the form 
of stuttering occurs insidiously like the heart ailment, the stomach 
ailment, and the acquired limp of the adult neurotic. 

The correction of stammering is not a simple problem. It re- 
quires intelligent understanding and patient handling. Psycholo- 
gists, however, do offer a few simple rules to guide the family. 
Don't nag a favorite child. Don't harp on the child's speech. Don't 
insist on making the child say things your way. Such a child ex- 
pects to be corrected as soon as he opens his mouth. Don't interfere 
with the child's account of a story though it be a little garbled. 
Don't stop his every request by making him say "please." In a 
positive sense, try to help the child adjust to his fears or feelings of 
inadequacy. Give him self-confidence and get him to pay less at- 
tention to himself. 

If the stuttering habit is firmly established the child or adult 
should be sent to a clinic. There are usually corrective speech 
centers associated with the larger colleges throughout the country. 
A few of the larger cities have medical institutions which special- 
ize in speech disorders. 

One of the first institutions to be devoted solely to the correction 
of speech defects was the original Boston Stammerer's Institute, 

Problem Children and Problem Parents 113 

now incorporated in the same city as the Institute for Speech Cor- 
rection. Since its inception, this center has been recognized as one 
of the foremost organizations in the United States for the treat- 
ment of speech disorders and related nervous maladjustments. 

The successful treatment of stutterers at the Institute is a thing 
to marvel at. Their method entails a thorough diagnosis to deter- 
mine the origin of the speech difficulty including a recording of 
the unstable voice. The patient is given practice on the sputter 
starting p's and b's, natural speech training exercises, and lessons 
in controlling the emotions. If the patient is a child, the parents 
"take a course" which proves to be the most important factor in 
correcting infantile stuttering. 

The Institute, which was originally a small private clinic cater- 
ing to nearby Boston inhabitants, is now a nationally known cen- 
ter at which medical students specializing in speech disorders re- 
ceive expert training. They are now the doctors who staff the huge 
veterans hospitals established for the rehabilitation of returned 
veterans with speech impairments. 


Every textbook discussion of the left-handed child includes the 
problem of stuttering. We have read statements by at least two 
hundred reputable psychologists to the effect that in changing a 
child who shows left-handed tendencies to a right-hander, there 
is a danger that it may lead to the onset of stuttering. In a study at 
the University of Iowa it was found that in a group of stammerers, 
one third of them had been originally changed from left-handed 
to right-handed. 

Despite the fact that so many psychologists note a relationship 
between stuttering and changing a child's handedness, they are 
not certain about the exact tie-up. The opinion of Professor Arthur 
T. Jersild of Columbia University reflects the views of most child 
psychologists. In his textbook, Child Psychology, he states, "It has 
been observed in some cases that children who have been com- 

H4 Psychology for the Millions 

pelled to change from the left to the right hand may show a tend- 
ency to stutter." 

The fact is, psychologists are not yet certain as to whether the 
stuttering that appears in children who have been changed from 
left- to right-handedness is due to the physical effects of the change, 
or the emotional tension brought about by the nagging parent 
who keeps saying, "No, take it in your right hand." 

The modern mother asks the question, "Is it advisable to train 
a child to use his right hand when he naturally tends to be left- 

The present day attitude of the informed psychologist and 
physician toward a change in handedness is: "Why bother a child 
if he shows left-handed tendencies?" True there are inconven- 
iences to being left-handed. In writing, you smudge ; in eating, you 
nudge; in the manufacture of fishing reels, golf clubs, baseball 
gloves, shears, and automobile shifting gears the right-hander is 
favored. To such a list of handicaps, psychologist Richard Hus- 
band in his well written textbook, General Psychology, adds that, 
"It is difficult if not virtually impossible for a left-handed person 
to become a dentist." Nevertheless, this university professor states, 
"All these are minor points, as compared with the difficulty of 
effecting a change and the possible harm involved." Professor 
Jersild supports this view with the statement that, "Even if there 
are no unwholesome effects, it cannot be said that the change from 
left- to right-handedness is worth the trouble." Professor Florence 
Teagarden says, "If it is evident that a child persistently uses his 
left hand for nearly every manual activity and this in spite of 
kindly reminders and suggestions to use his other hand, we 
should allow him to remain left-handed." 

So we see that the consensus of psychological opinion is against 
changing a child to a right-hander who shows left-handed tend- 
encies because of the possible emotional harm involved. To the 
writer, this appears to be a left-handed way of saying, "It's too bad 
that a child turns out to be a left-hander."- 

Problem Children and Problem Parents 115 

Brought up in a world of athletics, it occurred to me that the 
left-hander is not always at a disadvantage. In fact, I figured that 
the six percent of our population who are left-handed must enjoy 
some advantages because of it. I decided to find out what they 
were. I sent out some letters to sports writers and spoke to my 
athletic friends about the situation of the left-hander. Doubting 
Professor Husband's somewhat pessimistic view about "the virtual 
impossibility of a left-handed person becoming a dentist," I in- 
cluded his statement in the letters. 

The restriction on left-handed dentists seems to be an un- 
founded conviction. In six well directed inquiries I learned of 
hundreds of left-handed dentists. Dan Parker of the New Yor\ 
Daily Mirror wrote: "Replying to your letter about 'southpaws,' 
I know at least one left-handed dentist Lieut. Col. B. A. O'Hara, 
now located at Fort Monroe, Va. He has put in many left-handed 
fillings for me and it is no left-handed compliment on my part 
when I say that 'they stood in' as the boys on the west side would 
put it." 

Dr. M. Aronauer of New York, after telling me about eight 
left-handed dentists, put me on the trail of a research study that 
clinched the evidence against left-handedness as a rarity among 
dentists. It seems that Dr. Finn J. Bronner had long been interested 
in left-handedness in dentists. He kept careful statistics on left- 
handers and right-handers between 1930 and 1941 at the New 
York University College of Dentistry. His figures show that dur- 
ing this period there were graduated 86 left-handed dentists out of 
a total of 1391 students. This is almost 7 percent, which is a little 
better than the average of 6 percent southpaws found in the popu- 
lation at large.* 

In the matter of athletics, George Trevor and Wilbur Wood of 
the New Yor^ Sun pointed out that in tennis and baseball a left- 

* In a personal communication sent to Professor Husband after I had gathered my facts, 
he graciously acknowledged the "apparent inaccuracy'* of his statement and related that 
he had been led astray by a conversation with an uninformed dentist 

1 1 6 Psychology for the Millions 

hander has an advantage. In tennis, the left-hander's opponent hits 
to his forehand through force of habit. In baseball, the left-handed 
batter is closer to first base and runs in the direction he swings. The 
fences in most of the parks favor the left-hand batter in home 
runs. Moreover, the southpaw pitcher is always in a good position 
to throw to all the bases. Mr. Wood thinks that a left-handed bat- 
ter should average 20 points better on his season record than a 
right-handed one. "Further," says Ed. Tyding, the New Yorf( Sun 
fishing editor, "I have never noticed that left-handed fishermen 
ever bring home less fish than their right-handed rivals." All the 
sports writers seem to be agreed that for some reason or other 
champion left-handed golfers or boxers are a rarity. 

From my own experience of some fifteen years of close contact 
with college athletes, I have noted that left-handers are generally 
more ambidextrous than right-handers. I cannot state this as a 
scientific observation. It would be a good Master's thesis for some 
enterprising student of psychology or physical education. And I 
am not jesting. To start you off there is the case of Georgef^G. Bar- 
nard quoted by Dan Williams in the North American Review. 
Barnard, it seems, trained his hands to an amazing degree of true 
ambidexterity. With a small lump of modeling clay in each hand, 
he was able to mold the form of a male figure with the left hand 
and the form of a female with the right hand simultaneously. 

These are the observations on which I base my thoughts about 
ambidexterity: Switch hitters in baseball are most often south- 
paws. The left-handed basketball player finds it easier to add to 
his repertoire a right hand pivot shot. The southpaw handball 
champion can usually "kill" a ball with either hand. And I know 
several left-handed surgeons who took up sewing with their right 
hand. They now cut and sew from either side with equal dex- 

So, if your offspring at the age of six months (which is when the 
tendency usually begins), shows an inclination to be a potential 
Babe Ruth or Lefty Grove, don't bother or nag the child. Don't 

Problem Children and Problem Parents 1 17 

set yourself to overcome a seemingly precocious, infant stub- 
bornness when the baby reaches for things with the left hand. The 
most probable fact is that there is something innate about left- 
handedness. // the child tends to be left-handed, do not interfere; 
let him be a left-hander and lif(e it. 


To the "modern" mother, the feeding room has become the 
battleground. She is the General, cooking up a successful plan of 
attack. The eating whims and foibles of the newly weaned infant 
are met with ingenuous tactics. No, I do not mean ingenious. If 
I did, there would be no feeding problems and no need to write 
about them. 

Dr. William Blatz relates an amusing feeding incident about 
the five little Dionnes which Fred Neher seems to have caught 
by telepathy in one of his daily cartoons. 

It seems that at first the quintuplets were fed in pairs. But "the 
three who were left in their play pens resented the delay vocally 
and vociferously." To pacify them the five children had to be 
placed in a semicircle in high chairs with the nurses seated in the 

Dr. Blatz, Dr. F. H. Bartlett and other child 'specialists have 
helped to formulate some sound advice on the child's training in 
the matter of feeding. Within a year the child is ready to try manip- 
ulating a spoon, at two and a half he should have enough control 
to feed himself. Table manners should be disregarded in this 
training period. Let the baby slop the stuff over his bib and face, 
so long as he pushes enough into his mouth to fill his stomach. 
Any childish tricks should be similarly disregarded at this time; 
they should, in fact, be treated with studied neglect. 

Discerning child psychologists inform us that children between 
one and five normally refuse foods. The dislike may be genuine, it 
may be a mood, or it may be an imitation of some other member 
of the family. A wise mother does not force her brood to eat. Issues 

1 1 8 Psychology for the Millions 

should not be created at the table. The mother is very likely to 
come out at the short end of any will-power contest over feeding 
habits. Like the tactless salesman who wins his argument and loses 
his sale, the mother may win her point and lose the child's confi- 
dence. There are in truth but few real feeding-problem cases. ( Al- 

"Every time their bottles are a minute late, they start that thing!" 

lergic children with real food sensitivities will soon be recognized 
and placed under a doctor's supervision.) A hungry child will eat 
palatable food. According to scientific opinion, mothers create 
feeding-problem children by their tactics of coaxing, forcing, fret- 
ting, wheedling and bribing their offspring to eat. 
The best advice is to accept the child's tastes, wishes, or com- 

Problem Children and Problem Parents 119 

plaints in a casual and routine manner. Serve smaller portions to 
a child who refuses to finish his helpings. Prepare different foods. 
Prepare the same foods differently. Do not try to feed a child while 
he is emotionally disturbed. In general, try to make the feeding 
period one of casual pleasantness. This does not imply that a child 
shall be permitted to become a finicky, picky table tyrant. 

It seems that children, adults, and dumb animals, if permitted, 
are well able to select the foods needed to keep them healthy. Dr. 
Clara M. Davis experimented with children in hospitals who 
varied in age from those newly weaned up to four years. They 
were offered a variety of foods on a tray and could take or get 
what they wanted or pointed to. They ate as much or as little as 
they desired. They ate with their hands, with their face in the 
plate, or any style they preferred. In the conclusions of her ex- 
periments, Dr. Davis noted that, "All the children chose meals of 
such a nature that they were excellently nourished. They showed 
great glee when the food was brought in. They ate eagerly and 
their appetites were good." 

Dr. Curt Richter of the Johns Hopkins Hospital allowed rats to 
select their entire diet from purified food substances. His results 
were the same as those of Dr. Davis. When he cut out parts of the 
rats' salt metabolizing organ, the adrenal gland, they kept them- 
selves alive by taking exceptionally large amounts of salt. When 
he cut out parts of their parathyroid gland, they sustained their 
life by choosing large amounts of calcium. 

Professor Floyd L. Ruch, of the University of Southern Cali- 
fornia, describes from his experience the case of a young girl who 
drank great quantities of ink and ate dirt and paper. She was sent 
to a mental clinic because of such "crazy" behavior. The psycho- 
logical examiner found no mental abnormality and referred the 
girl to the medical service. The girl was found to be suffering from 
a mineral deficiency. With proper medicine and diet her queer 
appetite disappeared. 

A member of this writer's family used to be the bane of his ele- 

1 20 Psychology for the Millions 

mentary school teacher's existence because of his bizarre eating 
propensities. Whenever he was sent to the blackboard he would 
hurriedly scribble his assignment and then eat the remaining piece 
of chalk. At home, his delicacy was big chunks of plaster from the 
walls. After a round of visits to various physicians, a clever young 
interne suggested a lime deficiency, which proved to be correct. 

In a Current Biography sketch of the late W. B. Seabrook, 
author of Magic Island and other books on witchcraft, there is re- 
lated the incident of a girl who lived in Brooklyn, New York, and 
thought herself to be a vampire. This girl "had read all about 
vampires and knew, because of her uncontrollable craving for 
blood, that she was one." It turned out that she was suffering from 
pernicious anemia. The same Dr. Richter who had experimented 
with allowing rats to choose their food, reported on the case of a 
three-year-old child who was addicted to eating huge amounts of 
salt. The child died before proper treatment could be given. Au- 
topsy showed that, like Dr. Richter's experimental animals, the 
child was suffering from an adrenal gland disorder and was try- 
ing to keep himself alive by his huge salt intake. 

All of the above adds up to the fact that left alone by food 
faddists, "expert" nutritionists, and ballyhooers of vitamins and 
food concentrates, humans can do as well as animals in choosing 
an adequate diet, even though they are guided only by their per- 
sonal taste, or likes and dislikes. 

Addressing the American Neurological Association, Dr. Richter 
stated that, "the tongue and its taste buds can guide your selection 
of foods so that you will get all the life essential elements of diet, 
from salt to vitamins. The tongue is the watch-dog of the diet," 
he declared. "But dieticians and doctors have largely neglected 
it in their consideration of human diets," concludes Dr. Richter. 

To these findings I cannot help but add the opinion of my 
favorite authority on human physiology, the late Dr. Logan Clen- 
denning. Diet and food faddism he berated as "simply bosh." 
"Most food faddists are half-educated cranks," writes the author 

Problem Children and Problem Parents 121 

of The Human Body. He continues: "The body is a very canny 
old party and can turn nearly anything put inside of it, except 
what is actually poisonous, to good account. ... In general what 
you want to eat will be good for you. 'What one relishes nourishes' 
was a maxim of Poor Richard. Instinct is a wise physician. The 
appetite is a wonderfully sensitive instrument, a safe compass. It 
keeps most of us exactly where we ought to be in weight and 

Dr. Ruch in his Psychology and Life attempts an admittedly 
theoretical explanation of this wise instrument, the appetite, which 
leads to intuitive cravings for chalk, dirt, ink, and blood to satisfy 
the body's needs. His opinion, which sounds plausible enough to 
this writer, is that somewhere in the body there are receptors that 
pick up messages from the chemical conditions in the blood. When 
certain foods or chemicals are lacking, these receptors pass on this 
message in the form of an appetite or craving for the particular 

Is it possible that there is a physiological basis in the odd yearn- 
ings for certain foods that child-bearing mothers are known to 

In conclusion to all this, it can be said that the psychologist's 
advice to the mother of a laissez faire feeding attitude toward the 
child is affirmed by scientific findings and medical opinion. In 
other words, the mother is to use fewer training books, shun the 
"misleading vitamin ballyhoo," and allow the child's appetite to 
be the feeding guide. 

My eleven-year-old nephew has just placed his enthusiastic 
stamp of approval on what I have written. His mother, a blood 
relative, who is typing this manuscript gratis, says, "Tear it up, 
he'll eat what I give him and like it." 


Thumb-sucking, like food-refusal, is another child problem 
created by parents. In a small percentage of cases thumb-sucking 

122 Psychology for the Millions 

is a sign of hunger. But when the well fed child places his thumb 
in his mouth, that's just normal. In infancy most babies suck 
their fingers. Dr. Margaret Riddle tells us that "some infants are 
born sucking their thumb. And occasionally the marks on the 
thumb of the newborn shows evidence of finger-sucking before 
birth." She explains that it is an infant's method of obtaining 
mouth stimulation and relieving body tensions. 

It is easy to agree with Dr. Riddle's observations. Child specialist, 
Dr. Herman N. Bundesen, points out that finger-sucking is in- 
creased when children are over-tired, sleepy, sick, hungry, or 
teething. In his very practical book, Our Babies, he advises mothers 
not to worry about thumb-sucking in babies. 

The threat of buck teeth and facial deformity resulting from 
thumb-sucking seems to be an exaggeration. Concerning this 
feature, Dr. Bundesen states thaj if the habit stops before the age 
of four to six, no deformity will result. The use of adhesive-tape, 
mittens, cuffs, thumb guards, and pepper on the fingers are not 
recommended. Nagging, scolding, and bickering are ill-advised, 
and may cause unhappiness and guilt feelings. So don't fret over 
your child's thumb-sucking propensities. Keep him well fed and 
his hands occupied. Provide him with sets of pans, boxes, blocks, 
cups, jars with covers, books with pages to turn, and other toys to 
discourage idle hands. 

The idea of keeping the child's hands occupied by toys is an 
attempt at reasonable diversion. It may be of interest to note that 
this is the method recommended to the mother when she en- 
counters the inevitable infant-masturbation activity. The question 
of the child's handling of his genital organs is taken up at length 
in the chapter on the sexual aspects of development. Despite the 
repetition, let us point out that this suggestion for busying the 
child's hands with toys is not to be confused as a sanction for tying 
the hands down, using mittens, cuffs, thumb-guards or any other 
equally barbaric man-made devices for torturing infants. // the 
child insists on sucfyng let him suc\. 

Problem Children and Problem Parents 123 


From the mother's viewpoint, infant anal complexes and anal 
enjoyments remain strictly with the psychoanalysts. To her is 
allotted the unenviable task of training her tot in correct anal and 
genital habits. This consists of teaching the infant to wet and dirty 
in the right places at the right time. Though the subject and 
matter be indelicate to some, the mother must be both delicate 
and realistic in the toilet-training of her infant. 

Toilet-training is a matter of hands on and hands off for the 
mother. An infant cannot gain control of his bladder or his bowel 
until the nerves and muscles regulating these organs are matured 
or developed. On the other hand, by the time these organs do come 
under the child's voluntary control, he will not be able to exercise 
his control unless he has been properly trained. Thus, the child's 
mastery of his bladder and bowel hinges upon both development 
and training. On these facts all the specialists are in accord.. But 
what is not agreed upon, is when and how to conduct the training. 

One baby expert says, "The child's toilet-training may begin 
after the first week." Another says, "It is best to wait until the 
tenth month to begin toilet-training." A pediatrician tells the 
mother to "hold the four-week infant over a small potty in her 
lap once or twice a day." A New York doctor says, "Wait until 
the infant sits up well, then put him on a baby toilet seat." There 
sits mama on the horns of a dilemma, between two baby experts. 

There is a reason for this variance of opinion. Many independ- 
ent specialists give the matter a little thought and then promote 
their own theories. Records are established in the training of a 
few toilet prodigies. The success of these ninety-day wonders is 
held up as an example. Unfortunately, the follow-up and after- 
effects on these children are unexplored. 

The mother who seeks to eliminate prematurely her laundry 
problem or diaper service may be doing so at the child's expense. 
In her latest book, The Rights of Infants, the psychiatric child 

124 Psychology for the Millions 

specialist, Dr. Margaret Riddle, warns that "the emotional atti- 
tude of a mother or nurse who trains the baby too early, too sud- 
denly, or too rigidly, may bring about all sorts of nervous tensions 
in the child." 

Despite the differences that appear among those who thinly 
about the subject, the experimenting child psychologists and the 
pediatric research doctors do seem to be in accord in their most 
recent views on training infants in elimination habits. At the Yale 
Clinic of Child Development, thousands of children connected 
with homes, hospitals, and nurseries have been studied from the 
day of their birth. A lifetime of scientific investigation has been 
conducted at this child study center by trained psychologists and 
pediatricians under the direction of the greatest present-day ex- 
perimental child-physician, Dr. Arnold L. Gesell. From the experi- 
ences and reports of these workers, I have drawn the information 
for this phase of infant development. 


Too much emphasis is placed on early toilet-training. The zeal- 
ous mother punishes, bribes, shames, scolds and teaches, but the 
infant's undeveloped brain connections to bowel and bladder do 
not respond. Though he may seem to be stubborn, the infant who 
dirties his diapers five minutes after a fruitless session on the pot, 
is not wilfully spiteful. Sitting on the pot may be causing the 
tension that prevents relaxation of the rectal sphincter. His act is 
governed by physiology; not psychology. Let us trace the develop- 
ment of the infant's bowel control from helplessness to independ- 

During the first few weeks of life, bowel movements occur hap- 
hazardly from four to six times a day. By the second month there 
are about two movements a day which may follow feeding periods. 
At about the fourth month a semblance of regularity appears. At 
this time the watchful mother may takf advantage of the regularity 
and employ the pot. Training will appear to be successful, but it 

Problem Children and Problem Parents 125 

will be brief. Don't get excited about lapses for growth changes 
are tatyng place. At six to seven months movements become ir- 
regular and soiling more frequent. At ten months a little more 
regularity enters, bringing elimination happiness. At one year 
walking starts. This interferes with bowel control, and fecal acci- 
dents occur. Mother must control her temper. By fifteen months, 
with the infant's learning of verbal signals such as "eh eh," "duty," 
or "toidy," the final stretch is begun. At eighteen months only 
few mishaps occur. By the age of two, "the parent should remove 
the child's pants and leave him to his own devices." At this age 
bowel control should be well established in the average child. 

At age two and a half to three a bit of constipation sets in. Help 
in the form of fruit laxatives is now in order. About the time 
school begins, tension, anxiety, and emotional excitement may 
cause loose bowels. Slips will occur. The child should not be sub- 
jected to shame or aspersions by the parent. After all, many an 
adult has been scared into diarrhea over much less. 

This description is gleaned from the work of Drs. Arnold 
Gesell and Frances Ilg as they have reported it in Infant and Child 
in the Culture of Today. The account is somewhat general and 
tends to the average. There will be, of course, many variations for 
better or worse. The authors tell us that certain digressions are 
to be expected. The child may even dabble with the feces and 
indulge in innocent forms of stool smearing. This may occur 
intermittently or in some instances two to three times a day. "The 
stool is naively exploited as though it were so much plasticene," 
state the authors. They go on to say that, "this malbehavior is 
readily overcome by providing plasticene for exploitation, by 
dressing the child in impervious coveralls and by encouraging 
self management by slow degrees. Needless to say, marked emo- 
tions and severe disciplinary measures harm rather than help." 

As a further reminder, Dr. Gesell and his colleagues warn that 
"in the whole task of toilet culture, parents are in danger of ex- 
pending too much emotion and too little wise tolerance." They 

126 Psychology for the Millions 

conclude the discussion with the advice that taking "a long range 
view of the child's growth problems in a more rational light is 
the basis of intelligent guidance." Stated differently, we may say 
that a wise mother coordinates her nurture with nature in effect- 
ing successful bowel control in the infant. 


In the average child daytime bladder control is established by 
the age of two. At this time he is able to hold his water long 
enough to make known his desires and reach the proper receptacle. 
But training in this control should begin near the end of the first 

For the most part the training consists in getting the baby to 
make associations. He must be taught to associate his feeling of 
pressure with a signal to his mother. "Wee wee," "sissy," "da da" 
or any signal goes so long as you do not take a meaningful word 
out of the English language. He needs to associate the act of 
urination with the use of the bathroom or a proper receptacle. 
He needs to acquire the negative association of refraining from 
urination in his rompers. 

If training is to be successful, conditions must be kept uniform. 
Some mothers manage to keep the child dry soon after the third 
or fourth month. The habit of giving the child a feeling of dryness 
helps in the eventual control. This is accomplished by watching 
the infant's natural rhythms in emptying his bladder. The mother 
can thus note the periods of the day when the baby is most likely 
to respond to being taken to the toilet. 

As in the case of bowel control, full mastery of urinary func- 
tion depends upon both learning and physical development. There 
will betperiods when the tot is on the chair at the proper time but 
refuses to urinate. Within a short time after being taken off, the 
baby wets himself. Stubborn brat? No. Should he be punished? 
No. The wetting was not wilful. At this stage the child had learned 

Problem Children and Problem Parents 127 

to inhibit urination. He had not yet acquired the ability to release 
the inhibition voluntarily. Spanking at this time may cause the 
bewildered child to become spiteful and will interfere with proper 
learning. With patience and calm teaching as development pro- 
gresses, the child will learn to inhibit and release in the act of 
urination voluntarily. 

Even after control is well established, there will be frequent 
urinary lapses. The onset of a cold, or the beginning of cold 
weather may cause urinary release. Wetting may occur in con- 
nection with teething, illness, excessive drinking of liquids, or 
emotional upsets. At times the child will lie about his accidents 
and blame them on his playmates. This is common among two- 
year-olds. It is a cultural acquirement. The child has learned to 
associate shame with his lapse. Night-time lapses occur more often 
than daytime mishaps. In general, nocturnal control is established 
from six months to a year later. With proper training and normal 
physical condition, day and night dryncss is established in the 
average child by three years of age. 


Some children continue to wet their beds past the age of three 
and a half to four. These are considered problem cases. The con- 
dition is termed enure sis. Medical investigation has indicated that 
only about ten percent of these cases show physical causes for their 

We know of one former varsity member of a University crew 
who used to wet his bed intermittently. He was a strong, healthy, 
well-adjusted chap of twenty. His bed-wetting lapses had been a 
puzzle to doctors for years. Finally, one observant physician 
checked his diet at the University training table and the mystery 
was solved. His bladder weaknesses were traced to the days on 
which he ate roast beef. 

This young athlete was allergic to the proteins in the roast beef. 

128 Psychology for the Millions 

Allergists have since then successfully traced many cases of bed- 
wetting in older children to food sensitivity. Removal of the re- 
sponsible food or foods, causes the bed-wetting to cease. 

The vast majority of bed-wetting children arise from psycho- 
logical disturbance or poor training procedures. Only patience and 
intelligent parental methods can help these unfortunates. If the 
child is retarded mentally, the parent must expect the normal 
learning process to take that much longer. All but the very low 
grade feebleminded can learn control with time, tide, and emo- 
tional temperance. In most of the cases, the cause is not low I.Q.j 
but rather emotional maladjustment. Scolding, shaming, punish- 
ment, and undue excitement exaggerate the enuresis. 

Punishment, brings fear; shaming, causes feelings of inferiority; 
and excitement, makes the child a center of attention. All of these 
fear, inferiority, and a desire for attention are at the bottom of 
bed wetting. A sensitive child fears the spanking or scolding. He 
becomes obsessed with the fear that he will wet himself, and this 
brings about the bed-wetting. 

A shamed child lacks self-confidence. He begins to doubt his 
ability to act like a grown-up and control his bladder properly. 
His doubt results in failure. It is the same psychological cycle 
that causes a tennis player, basketball player, or golfer to "flub" 
an easy shot, because he begins to have doubts as he gets set to 
make the shot. 

The child seeking attention gets it from the mother who makes 
a great fuss over his bed-wetting occurrences. He likes the baby- 
like treatment he receives at night when he is dried and changed. 
Too much ado is made about his "problems." It is discussed in his 
presence. As Dr. Helen T. Wooley says, "he becomes the chief 
actor in an emotional drama" and to maintain his role, "he keeps 
up the wetting." 

Dr. Arthur Steele studied a group of bed-wetters on whom he 
reported in the Michigan Medical Journal. From his observations 
he found that the best results were obtained by observing the time 

Problem Children and Problem Parents 129 

of night at which the child usually wet the bed. The child was 
then awakened one hour before the expected time, to voluntarily 
void his urine. By this method the bed-wetting was controlled in 
many children in from one to six months. 

I have personally noted similar success by employing this 
method with many six- and seven-year-old "midget marines" at 
summer camps. The conscientious counselor who "lifts" his little 
"marines" faithfully, is rewarded by dry sheets in the morning. 
The change of atmosphere, however, and removal from home 
tensions are probably important aids in achieving success with such 
bed-wetters in a single season at camp. 

A helpful suggestion in overcoming enuresis is offered by Dr. 
Hazel Stanton. The idea is to arouse in the child a sense of re- 
sponsibility for control. Have the child keep a chart of dry and 
wet nights. Every dry night is to be marked by a star or a check. 

Parents can help by sympathy and understanding. It seems to 
this writer that an attitude of casualness and placidity by the parent 
toward bed-wetting as a problem, will go a long way in correcting 
the psychological weakness which is at the basis of much bed- 

We may take our last word of advice on the toilet-training of 
children from Dr. Arnold Gesell and Dr. Frances Ilg. They tell 
us that, "What is needed, is timely help with a light rather than 
heavy hand; and above all with a discerning hand. But how can 
the hand be deft or discerning without a knowledge of the ways 
of development?" 


If there is any phase of child guidance in which a discerning 
hand is required, it is in training the youngster's emotional re- 
actions. An angered child kicks, stamps, jumps up and down, 
pouts, throws objects or swings his fists. Is this good or bad ? 

That depends upon what he is kicking about and how often he 

1 30 Psychology for the Millions 

It used to be thought that no child should be permitted to give 
way to anger. Every outburst of childhood rage was curbed and 
punished. The modern attitude is more realistic. It recognizes 
that a display of anger in a child or adult which is in proportion 
to the conflict need not be stifled. 

This change is reflected in the attitude of the modern mother 
who commands the child: "Hit him back, you fool, don't stand 
there like a lemon," whereas her grandmother used to say: "Little 
gentlemen are not supposed to fight." This newer psychology is 
expressed by Professor John B. Morgan when he says: "It is much 
better to have a fighting child, one who knows how to get angry 
on occasion, than to have one who yields to frustration too easily." 
Elsewhere Dr. Morgan offers the opinion that, "fighting and the 
emotion of anger is a natural reaction to frustration: it is a whole- 
some attempt to overcome obstructions which lie in the way of 
some goal. There is nothing unworthy in anger itself and no 
teacher should aimto eliminate it from the lifetof a child." 

This does not imply that a youngster should be encouraged in 
his display of anger. It means that in some instances it is a good 
thing for a youth or a grown-up to let off steam. The healthy 
course of emotional upheaval is to give it an outlet. Otherwise, 
it will be repressed and diverted into some unwholesome bit of 
compensatory behavior. 

Too frequently an adult thwarts a child, gets him angry, and 
then punishes the child for his outburst of temper. The classic 
example of this is the father who whacks the bawling kid and 
shouts "stop crying." As Johnny cries louder, father hits harder. 
This continues until papa gets blue in the face and Johnny gets 
blue in the ... he gets black and blue. 


Should we then permit a child to rule the roost by temper and 
tantrums? No. Each display of anger needs to be interpreted 
and treated accordingly. The youngster should learn by experi- 

Problem Children and Problem Parents 131 

ence and your teaching that the mere display of anger is futile as 
a means of gaining an end. If properly trained he will learn that 
he can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Attempting 
to talk a child out of an unreasonable rage is usually as ineffective 
as trying to talk him out of fear. 

Thomas Jefferson advised: "When angry count ten before you 
speak; if very angry, an hundred." Mark Twain recommends, 
"When angry, count four; when very angry, swear." With refer- 
ence to such counsel, psychology professor Noel B. Cuff relates 
the amusing incident of the boy who, acting upon his teacher's 
advice to count one hundred before getting into a fight, coolly sat 
upon his worst enemy while counting the hundred. 


Pediatrician I. Newton Kugelmass, in his very comprehensive 
book, Growing Superior Children, offers a suggestion for train- 
ing outbursts of anger with a happier ending. Says he, "The child 
should never be granted his wishes during anger. He may be in- 
duced to join in a hearty laugh at his own expense. When humor 
enters, anger departs." And Mr. M. H. Fox in a one hundred 
dollar winning letter to the Reader's Digest tells how his father 
applied Dr. Kugelmass' advice. 

In his letter, captioned "Anger In Its Proper Light," Mr. Fox 
says, "I learned to control my temper when I was quite young 
through a simple stratagem of my father's. My brother and I often 
became extremely angry with each other. My father finally gave 
us each a polishing rag, put us on either side of a French door 
and made us polish the same pane of glass. Within two minutes 
we were overcome by gales of laughter and the quarrel was for- 
gotten. 'Laughter is the best cure for anger,' Father said." 

A variation of the same theme is related in a letter by Kay R. 
Houston. The Houstons called their antidote for anger, "The 
Goldfish Bowl Cure." Writes daughter Kay: "Father's campaign 
against 'fits of squalling' on the part of his four high-tempered 

132 Psychology for the Millions 

daughters began when he brought home an empty goldfish bowl. 
Whenever one of us blew up he would get the bowl and make 
the offender cry into it. 'Come watch Kay cry into the bowl,' he 
would call, if I were guilty. 'She's going to fill it this time. Then 
we can get our goldfish.' As I held my tearful face over the bowl 
the others would urge me on until I laughed in spite of myself." 


"Such happy endings as the Foxes and Houstons describe, sound 
good in print," says the troubled mother. "How about the child 
who has temper-tantrums ? My brat screams, throws himself on 
the floor, holds his breath, and throws things in a fit of rage. I 
wouldn't dare let him go near an empty fish bowl." 

These are the typical signs of a temper-tantrum. The chances 
are that this young one got off to a bad beginning. The picture 
usually goes something like this: at first he uses a display of anger 
to get attention, and he gets it. Next he employs his rage technique 
to gain some object. That too works. Gradually the outbursts be- 
come louder and more frequent. It becomes the youngster's chief 
weapon. It is a form of amateur blackmail. He travels in the same 
gang as the kid who blackjacks his mother with the threat, "I'll 

As in the case of an ordinary outburst of temper, every situation 
requires individual treatment. In general, no fuss should be made 
over a tantrum episode. Remove the offender from his audience 
or remove the audience. After he has calmed down, no apologies 
or great ado need follow. An attempt should be made to ascer- 
tain the cause and bring it to the surface. The youngster should 
be taught positive ways of gaining the very same ends over which 
he has his tantrums. It is not sufficient to treat such a child by 
simply ignoring his act as so many advise. 

Catherine Mackenzie in her Parent and Child column in the 
New Yorf^ Times tells of a significant experience by Dr. Ruth 
Stone on the very subject of ignoring temper-tantrums. At a 

Problem Children and Problem Parents 133 

nursery in a woman's reformatory, Dr. Stone saw a small child 
having the temper-tantrums he staged daily. His mother was 
"under discipline/' and a number of women took turns at being 
with him at different times, without effect on his outbursts of 
rage. "We've ignored that child for weeks," Dr. Stone was told, 
"but still he keeps it up." 

This scared and lonely child, as Dr. Stone explains, was crying 
for the attention he needed and everybody was turning a back 
on him. He soon gave up his tantrums when one woman volun- 
teered to take full charge of him, that is, when he found some one 
person on whom he could count for love and approval. 

The trouble here was in applying a rule without sizing up the 
picture. Or as Miss Mackenzie says in the title to her article: "In 
spite of the rules, to every parent there comes a time when the 
'book' doesn't provide the answer." 


Most parents handle the child's love and anger development 
like the father of two unlike sons. The wayward offspring who 
leaves home, spends the family fortune, and is always in a scrape 
gets all the attention, while the reliable son who remains close by, 
helping to augment the family bank account, finds himself ig- 
nored. So it is with the training of the child's affectionate life and 
his anger propensities; the anger element gets all the attention. 

A child comes into the world with a certain amount of love 
and affection that wells from his glands. This is the constitutional 
basis of all emotions. If we would retain the richness of this nat- 
ural fountain, it must be properly nurtured. Of all the emotions, 
that of love is the most sensitive and responsive. It is the one on 
which the world turns, yet it is the least understood and attended 
on a scientific basis. 

Educational volumes have been written to tell mothers and 
teachers how to manage children in their fear and anger nuances 
of worry, nervousness, temper, insecurity, tantrums, and obstinacy. 

134 Psychology for the Millions 

But comparatively little has been said to mothers, fathers, or 
teachers, about guiding the child in his emotions of affection, joy, 
happiness, delight, and devotion. These it would seem have been 
left to grow like Topsy and Eva. 

Too many parents and teachers seem imbued with the Chinese 
version of an old proverb which reads, "No matter if the twig is 
bent, 'twill straighten when a tree." A child whose affectionate 
impulses have been warped by bitterness will not straighten of 
itself. Any psychologist, psychiatrist, sociologist, or Judge in a 
juvenile court can tell you about hundreds of bent emotional in- 
fants who grew to be adolescent delinquents. It is usually the task 
of these professions to straighten the adolescent who grew up in 
a soil barren of love and affection, or filled with the wrong kind. 

The child previously described from Dr. Stone's experience is 
a case in point. He was driven to temper-tantrums in an effort to 
attract the love and attention that he craved. Dr. William Sadler 
in his Quest for Happiness points to a source of this barrenness 
when he says, "The trouble with most nervous people is that they 
are bestowing too much thought and sympathy on themselves. 
They are wasting on themselves those very things the world is 
dying for the need of love, pity, and sympathy." 

In the early phase of the second World War when thousands 
of mothers went into the factories, thousands of love-starved chil- 
dren went into the streets; "war orphans," they were called. In 
an article on wartime social conditions, Albert Deutsch in the 
New York newspaper PM reported a 25 percent increase in de- 
linquency. Sex involvements of 13-year-old girls were the largest 
factor in the general rise of delinquency. "In Mobile, Alabama," 
wrote Agnes Meyer, wife of the publisher of the Washington Post, 
"girls as young as n are picked up for immoral conduct." 

These were children in dire need of the affection and protec- 
tion of a home or responsible guardian. When the problem grew 
to large proportions, towns and cities sponsored teacher-supervised 

Problem Children and Problem Parents 135 

nursery schools and all-day playgrounds. Teen-age canteens were 
organized to keep the adolescents under the care of responsible 
hostesses while mothers and fathers worked the "swing shift" and 
"graveyard shift." Although a teacher or benevolent social direc- 
tor cannot take the place of a parent, they can, if they wish, be an 
immeasurable source of comfort, security and inspiration to their 
charges. Such a one, was Frances Irene Hungerford. 


Dorothy Walworth has reported the truly inspiring tale of this 
school teacher who spread her love and affection to her students, 
and one in particular. The teacher, Frances Irene Hungerford, is 
characterized by her townspeople at Cornwall-on-the-Hudson 
"as a woman to warm your heart by." Miss Walworth tells her 
story in the Reader's Digest. This school marm was in her thirties 
when she started with her first class of seventy, eighth grade and 
high school pupils. They were crowded into a room only big 
enough for twenty. 

By her patience and kindliness she instilled in all her pupils a 
love of learning. She took trouble with every student, but she 
worked hardest with Steve Pigott, "a tall, lanky ly-year-old. Steve 
was good at his studies but his father didn't see what use school 
was." Only through the urging and faith of Frances Hungerford 
did Steve continue to study. After graduation he enrolled at 
Columbia University in the mechanical engineering course. Hav- 
ing to work his way through by taking all sorts of odd jobs he 
was often on the verge of giving the whole thing up. On such 
occasions he would return to Cornwall and somehow Miss Hun- 
gerford would pour faith and courage into him. 

"Steve is Sir Stephen Pigott now he was knighted in 1939, 
about tjie time he designed the machinery for the Queen Eliza- 
beth," writes Miss Walworth. Miss Hungerford, 85 at the time this 
is being written, is still living in her upstate town where she kept 

136 Psychology for the Millions 

on working until five years ago. She still corresponds with Sir 
Stephen, who in his last letter from war-torn England -wrote, 
"Wait for me, Miss Hungerford." 

As Dorothy Wai worth was taking leave of her visit at the home 
of Miss Hungerford, this soul-satisfying school teacher remarked, 
"You know, I feel ashamed when I see all these bright modern 
teachers. Compared to them I was not very well trained." She 
paused as her hand tightened on Miss Walworth's arm, "You see, 
all I had was love? 

Yes, this one-room school teacher had and gave to her pupils, 
love. Not love in any sexual sense, but in the sense of affection, 
concern, and devotion. Hers was a teaching procedure that in- 
cluded guidance in the academically neglected emotion love. 
Any teacher who offers a little honest human affection to his or 
her pupils can substitute it for a whole book of psychological rap- 
port pedagogical style. 


Although most unhappy children suffer from lack of affection, 
many are worse off for too much of it or the wrong kind. These 
are over-protected and kept from growing-up by their elders. This 
usually occurs in the homes of parents on a higher social plane. 
In one psychological study, the developmental habiis of children 
from different economic levels was studied. The results showed 
that the children from the homes with less money and more kids, 
learned to care for themselves earlier than those with nurses and 
more money. 

Coddled and pampered children depend too much upon the 
devotion they receive at home. They grow up with a lack of self- 
confidence. Sometimes the situation arises out of an early child- 
hood illness. At times it is a much wanted child, who came only 
after many miscarriages. These parents feel that they must handle 
the suckling like something precious. Premature babies often fall 

Problem Children and Problem Parents 137 

into this class. And of course the classic only-child is the most 
common example of the pampered pet. 

From such origins come the problem cases who have never 
learned to cope with conflicts. They shift blame to others, use 
underhand methods, have tantrums and wet beds at expensive, 
private semi-correction schools. If the schools are staffed by doc- 
tors, psychologists, and understanding teachers the students fare 
well. The Southard School in Topeka, Kansas, affiliated with the 
well known Menninger Clinic is filled with the products of over- 
solicitous homes. Describing the work of this school, Fred C. 
Kelly states: "Mothers have much to learn from Southard pupils, 
victims of syrupy adoration. Many a child is so protected in the 
hothouse of his family that he cannot stand the frost of contact 
with the real world." 

Charles F. Kettering, head of General Motors research division, 
talks about parents who come up the hard way. Because of their 
struggle, he points out, they become over-indulgent with theh 
children. "Such parents remind me," says Mr. Kettering, "of the 
kind hearted amateur who raised butterflies as a hobby. He was 
so touched by the difficulties they had in emerging from the 
cocoon that once, out of mistaken kindness, he split a cocoon 
with his thumbnail so that the tiny inmate could escape without 
a struggle. That butterfly was never able to use its wings." 

So it is wit!* the adolescent who is not given an opportunity to 
emancipate himself from the sentimental attachment to the home. 
He never quite gets to walk steadily on his own pins. When he 
has to give up his parental crutch he finds himself a wife to lean 
on. Emotionally, he never grows up despite the fact that he may 
mature intellectually. 


Now this over-attachment is a two-way affair. In some cases, 
despite parental encouragement, the youngster is not anxious to 
try his sea legs. In these instances the parents would do well to 

1 38 Psychology for the Millions 

take a lesson from our. feathered friends. When a young bird 
reaches maturity it is thrust out of the nest. Few birds fail to sur- 
vive for lack of nurture. But with flesh and blood creatures, the 
mother is only too eager to permit a young one to nestle in her 

At a restaurant not long ago the waitress at our table remarked, 
"Now I've seen everything." Queried as to what it was that she had 
seen, she pointed to a nearby table. There sat a good looking 
youth in his twenties; apparently, able to move his arms and legs; 
intelligent, from the nature of the conversation we could over- 
hear and mama was cutting his meat into squares for him. 

Consciously or unconsciously, parents resist a child's efforts for 
freedom. The conflict generally begins when the child is leaving 
elementary school. It blooms in the high school years. Emotionally 
healthy youngsters at this time are usually at odds with the family 
powers that be. Anger, sorrow, and family scenes are frequent. 
These are occasioned by what the boy or girl wants to do as op- 
posed to what his parents think he ought to do. The elders speak 
of having raised a lady only to be rewarded by an unrefined flirt. 
Instead of turning out to be an obeisant little gentleman the boy 
has too many radical ideas. And at a later period the boy, espe- 
cially, finds his mother blocking his amorous path. 

On this question of the youth's emancipation from the home, 
Professor Kimball Young of Queens College quotes the eminent 
physician and psychologist, Frankwood E. Williams. In his book 
Adolescence, Dr. Williams, always a benefactor of the young, de- 
fends the adolescent as no trial lawyer ever could. He points his 
finger at possessive parents and says of them: ir With a lack of 
logic unworthy of a school-child and the point is not missed by 
the adolescent boy or girl they demand love in payment for 
sacrifices that have grown out of responsibilities they themselves 
assumed voluntarily and for their own pleasure, and they demand 
respect as though that were a right that came with accidental 

Problem Children and Problem Parents 139 

A few pages further, still on the subject of mother Jove, Dr. 
Williams continues: "Love of mother is an instrument of terrible 
potentiality. Because by its use we can so easily cow individuals 
into a semblance of proper conduct, we use it recklessly. We go 
further and extol the man who shows great devotion to his mother 
and to the man who can weep at the name of mother we ascribe 
special virtue. The love of mother is too valuable an asset in the 
life of any man to run the risk of turning it into a liability through 
reckless use. 

"A man who is 'so good' to his mother is not always so good 
to his wife, or so successful in his relationship with others; and a 
man's life is more concerned with his wife and with others than 
with his mother. A wise mother should realize this and not de- 
mand too much. She should find her happiness, even though it 
be a bit wistful, in helping her boy to launch his life from her own 
and in seeing him strong and able because of her." 

Dr. Williams, deceased now, was indeed the Clarence Darrow 
of suppressed youth. Like all great thinkers his ideas anticipated 
his times. His plea for parents to recognize the individuality of 
the young boy and girl was written in 1921. Modern psychology in 
its most recent development now recognizes the child as an im- 
portant creature that will shape the destiny of the man. 


The significance of childhood in relation to the adult personality 
has received great impetus from the teachings of Freud and his 
followers. It is the belief of this school of thought, that the basis 
of all adult neuroses can be traced directly to events occurring 
before the age of five. 

The recent highly successful stage play and movie, Lady in the 
Dar\, brought this theory to the doorstep of the public. On the 
stage it was Gertrude Lawrence and in the movie it was Ginger 
Rogers who, as a young, comely, efficient magazine editor found 
her love-life in a turmoil of frustration. In this story the lovely 

140 Psychology for the Millions 

looking heroine hides her true amorous desires behind spectacles, 
severe clothes, and an affair with a married man, because of a sup- 
posed subconscious fear of competing for the affections of eligible 
males. She goes to a psychoanalyst who, through the interpreta- 
tion of her dreams, brings to the surface what is believed to be the 
repressed cause of her trouble. That is, a subconscious feeling of 
inferiority which is presumed to have had its origin in an incident 
in her childhood when she overheard a few admirers of her 
beautiful-looking mother refer to her as "a plain-looking child." 

Whether or not one is inclined to accept the Freudian theory 
that all adult neuroses originate in childhood (and this writer 
does not), the essential nature of the child's emotional life is ac- 
knowledged by all psychologists and this writer. 

Psychologist Kimball Young, who is by no means a Freudian, 
states : "It is now generally recognized that one's major personality 
characteristics are usually determined before one is five years old, 
and some writers say as early as two or three." In her latest book, 
Guiding Your Life, Dr. Josephine Jackson concludes her chapter 
on the pre-school years with the reminder that, "nervous in- 
validism may be largely eliminated if parents in the training of 
their children will apply the principles of the new psychology 
which stresses the importance of the first six years." And Professor 
John B. Morgan says, "Modern psychology has changed the focus 
of interest. The adult is now considered as the grown-up child 
instead of the child's being regarded as the miniature adult." 

This so-called newer and modern psychology is not really so 
new in thought. It is rather interesting to watch psychological 
thought grow. Sometimes, we in our psychological teaching catch 
up to the philosophy of the great poets and writers of the six- 
teenth and seventeenth centuries. "The child is father of the man," 
wrote William Wordsworth in his memorable poem, My Heart 
Leaps Up, dated 1802. 

At times, psychology, like the length of women's dresses, has its 
cycles. Baby cradles used to be built for rocking. Then came the 

Problem Children and Problem Parents 141 

advice that a rocked child is a spoiled child. Rocking was taboo, 
except with grandmothers. Now, Dr. Margaret Riddle has created 
a stir by pointing out that a child needs rocking. Back comes the 
rocking cradle. 

We used to speak of problem children. Of late one hears only 
of problem parents. Here's an offering from a recent issue of the 
New Yorl( Times Magazine: 

A Problem Family 
Clarence is a problem child? 
'Naughty, impudent and wild? 
Send the pa and ma of Clarence 
To the School for Problem Parents. 

L. H. R. 

After reading this jingle I couldn't be sure whether or not 
L.H.R. was chiding psychology for its recent emphasis on blam- 
ing parents for the misdeeds of their children. And so I wrote 
and asked him. In short order I received an obliging answer in- 
dicating that he wasn't spoofing but that he did have a wonderful 
sense of humor and a whimsically expressed keen insight into 
human nature. Mr. Leonard Robbins, author of the jingle, who 
modestly signs his initials or leaves unsigned his column, About, 
which is a weekly feature of the New Yor^ Times Magazine, 
replied: "Having been a problem parent myself in my time, and 
having seen many problem children whose trouble seemed to 
originate with their parents, I wrote the rhyme 'serious.' But the 
trouble is not always parental. I know a perfectly swell young 
couple whose child is a fiend incarnate. I guess we can't make an 
iron rule about it." And he adds, "No, I wasn't guying the psy- 
chologists, bless them!" 

There can be little doubt that important building blocks of the 
adult personality are laid down in childhood years. But this is no 
cause to build a fence of worship around the child in the home, 
and blame the parent for all the sins of his offspring. True, our 

142 Psychology -for the Millions 

fathers' dictum that "children should be seen and not heard" be- 
longs in the discard. At the same time a recent writer's recom- 
mendation that "parents should be seen and not heard" can be 
relegated to the same pile. 

James Gibson 

McCali Publishing Co. 

"Don't you realize this sort of thing may 
have a lasting effect on my personality? 9 

Mistakes will be made in childhood training. But to view the 
emotional mishaps of age two and three as the inevitable basis for 
neurosis in adulthood is an unfounded pessimism. Or to consider 
the pre-school years as the rock-bound period in which the adult 
personality is inexorably set in cement is equally arbitrary. In def- 
erence to scientific fact it must be remembered by the layman and 
the professional psychologist that these ideas are but theories, they 
have never been proven by any convincing array of evidence re- 
sulting from well conducted experiments. 

Problem Children and Problem Parents 

It is natural for psychologists to be carried away by psychology. 
Parents, however, should remain parents, regardless of their col- 
legiate degrees. Nor should parents be encouraged to follow psy- 
chologists up their many theoretical channels of Behaviorism, 
Freudianism, Gestaltism, or any other "ism." These should be 
marked, "For Experimental Purposes Only Use At Your Own 
Risk." The firm and tested road that scientific psychology has 
established is the one for parents to follow. Their job is with chil- 
dren, not guinea pigs. Or, to take liberties with Dostoyevsky's 
phrase about people: Children are children and not the keys of a 

Although greatly imbued with the teachings of Freud, Anna M. 
Wolf has been unfettered by any such "isms" in her recent book, 
The Parents Manual. This is a psychological mansion with few 
fancy decorations and no faddistic furniture. The material, gath- 
ered by Mrs. Wolf as an outgrowth of twelve years of experience 
wijth the Child Study Association of America, is made of solid stuff. 
Between the covers of a full length book, devoted to the child 
from birth to age six, Mrs. Wolf has been able to offer much valu- 
able information which, for lack of space, could not be included in 
a general book such as this. While we are on the subject of books, 
among other titles mentioned in this chapter, Dr. GeselFs Infant 
and Child in the Culture of Today and Dr. I. Newton Kugelmass' 
Growing Superior Children should certainly be on the must list 
of parents who read. 

All the lessons on child psychology are not contained in formal 
books. In a prize winning letter to the Readers Digest, Mr. C. W. 
Pollack describes the memorable and picturesque manner in 
which his father imparted to him "a lesson in life." Judging by its 
indelible impression on Mr. Pollack's mind, it should leave a de- 
sirable final picture with the reader. 

"When I was ten," relates Mr. Pollack, "my father showed me a 
cucumber in a bottle. The neck of the bottle was small and the 
cucumber was so large that it was impossible for it to pass through. 

144 Psychology -for the Millions 

I asked how it got inside. For answer, father got a bottle and led 
me to the garden. With great curiosity, I watched him slip the 
bottle over a little cucumber still on the vine. Then I understood 
that the cucumber had grown in the bottle. 

"My father turned to me and said, 'Son, I often see men with 
habits that I wonder any sensible person could form; and I think 
that probably they grew into the habits like the cucumber in the 
bottle when they were young and cannot get out of them now. 
Look out for such habits, son.' 

"To this day I have never forgotten his words," concludes Mr. 
Pollack Jr. 

In the seventeenth century, one of the greatest poets that ever 
lived transmitted this same thought to the parents of England. 
John Milton wrote: 

The Childhood shows the man, 
As morning shows the day. 



anc \^vtnnai$ are 
Cy v^eii? C^mof 10115 


EHAVIOR training is the mechanism that makes the wheels 
go round. The emotions are the ball bearings on which the human 
merry-go-round maintains its balance or loses it, as the case may 
be. In guiding the child to walk, talk, eat, and eliminate it was 
seen that instability occurred at the emotional end. The psycholo- 
gist directs his advice to the hand that controls the revolving in- 
fant in his early experiences. He warns the parents against pre- 
cipitating or prolonging conditions of stuttering, poor eating, 
thumb-sucking, and bed-wetting in their children. 

Often the parents of a problem child have brought up two or 
three children without encountering such difficulties. The natural 
conclusion of these parents is that the trouble lies in the child's 
nature. They figure that the infant was "born that way." This may 
be partly the case, but does not tell the whole story. 

People do show innate differences in emotionality which are 
easily recognized in childhood. The reader may recall from an 
earlier chapter the College Quadruplet Keys sisters. It was pointed 
out that despite their blood-relationship and up-bringing in one 
home, they showed many differences in temperament. 

The mother of two normal children is. of ten perplexed because 
Johnny is so sensitive while Jimmy is a rugged little roustabout 

146 Psychology for the Millions 

The understanding mother knows her brood and makes allow- 
ances for their nature and thus eliminates emotional or psycho- 
logical problem-behavior. In educational circles this guided nur- 
turing is known as the psychology of individual differences. 

Novelist Kathleen Norris, in one of those illustrative Reade/s 
Digest features, "Drama In Everyday Life," relates a moving tale 
of a mother who touchingly applied this psychology to her two 
sons. The authoress narrates this gripping episode out of her own 
childhood experience. 

As a young girl on a seashore holiday Kathleen Norris and her 
mother first met Mary Webster and her two sons, Ned and Tony. 
Ten years old, Ned was quite a little fellow. "He spent most of 
his time close to his mother who used to read to him by the 
hour." Tony, a little younger than Ned, "had the joyous grace of 
a small lion. He could run, dive and jump better than any of 
the other boys." One day on the beach Miss Norris was surprised 
to hear Tony proudly announce that he was an adopted son. The 
day before the families parted Mrs. Webster trustingly told Mrs. 
Norris that Ned was really the adopted child. 

It seems that shortly after her husband's death, Mrs. Webster 
with her two sons met a friend whom they hadn't seen for many 
years. The friend beamed on the youngsters and said: "Which is 
the adopted one, Mary?" 

The cat was out of the bag. Later the children asked to be told. 
Knowing that Tony was the stronger of the two and that Ned was 
a mother's boy, she told them that Tony was the adopted one. Ned 
died in Mary Webster's arms at the age of twenty-eight. His death 
terminated a brief and brilliant career as a chemist. 

Kathleen Norris met Tony Webster many years later, dressed 
in the uniform of a Navy Captain. When she inquired about his 
reaction at the time that he learned he was really Mary Webster's 
son, he said with tears in his eyes: "I wouldn't have supposed that 
anything could make me love mother more than I already did, 
but that got me. I h?d a boy of my own then, and I realized what 

Consumers, Criminals, and Emotions 147 

it must have meant to her, during all those years, to give her own 
son's place to the other boy, rather than break the adopted child's 

Mary Webster was an intelligent mother. She trained both of 
these children from infancy. Could she have made Ned more like 
Tony? Could Tony have been made more like Ned? 

What role does the infant's original nature play in producing 
an emotionally sensitive person ? To what extent can training and 
guidance shape emotional behavior? Are people predestined to 
become problem cases from childhood? Can guidance in emo- 
tional development prevent nervousness, temper-tantrums, night 
terrors, anger outbursts, obstinacy, and seclusiveness ? It behooves 
us to look into the formation of this element called emotionality 
or temperament. 


Crying is your first expression of emotion. Some writers have 
even attributed to the infant's birth cry an emotional connotation 
which is far beyond the wisdom of any newborn whether he be a 
Da Vinci or an Einstein. In one of his cynical moods, Immanuel 
Kant, the philosopher, referred to it as "a cry of wrath at the 
catastrophe of birth." No less a figure than William Blatz, super- 
vising psychologist to the Dionne quintuplets, seems to have been 
taken by this idea. He states, "The first cry is no doubt a protest." 

Actually there is no emotion attached to this first squeal of life. 
It is a reflex act to establish breathing. The cry is caused by the 
sucking in of air drawn rapidly over the vocal cords, causing them 
to vibrate. 

After this first cry, an infant begins to cry with meaning. He 
bawls when he is hungry, wet, hurt, or restrained. The infant 
learns rapidly. Within a few days the cry becomes an indiscrimi- 
nate call for all kinds of attention. 

Every mother knows that some babies cry more than others. But 
a pampered infant grows into a "cry baby." Fortunately for most 

148 Psychology for the Millions 

of us, with development emotional refinement takes place. This 
emotional refinement proceeds as did the other aspects of be- 
havior. It is dependent upon two factors; maturation and environ- 
mental experiences. 


In a study of two infant girls, Wayne Dennis tested the early 
development of their social reactions. From birth until they were 
seven months old the infants were deprived of all social stimula- 
tion. The babies' physical wants were cared for but no one smiled 
at them or played with them. They received no toys, no visitors, no 
fondling and no rewards or punishments and were kept separate 
from each other. Despite this severe deprivation, the babies smiled, 
laughed, and gave signs of affection for their unresponsive, stolid 
attendants, at the same age when babies usually smile and laugh. 

This little experiment showing the natural maturing of human 
emotional responses is supported by scientific observations made 
on a deaf and blind girl. Psychologist Florence Goodenough took 
motion pictures of the emotional reactions of a ten-year-old girl 
who had been blind and deaf from birth. The girl showed expres- 
sions of joy, anger, timidity, and fear like normal children. As she 
could not have learned these reactions from seeing or hearing 
others, Miss Goodenough points out that the child's responses were 
obviously due to maturation. 

Thus, if as an adult, you turn out to be a crank, a whimperer, a 
milk-toast, a sourpuss, or a rhinoceros, don't blame it all on your 
indulgent mother or hard-hearted nurse. On the other hand, had 
you started out in childhood to become such an emotional divert, 
something could have been and still can be done about it. For as in 
other innate human functions, learning and training can and do 
exercise a strong influence on the course of this natural develop- 
ment. As a matter of fact the emotional status of the grown-up 
human is more a product of his training and culture than of his 

Consumers, Criminals, and Emotions 149 

heredity. To be convinced of this you have but to look about in a 
variety of cultures and social circles to note the radical differences 
in the way in which people express their emotions as well as what 
arouses them. 

Loud boisterous laughter is never in order in some social circles. 
The reserved New Englander doesn't show his excitement as 
easily as the warm Southerner. In China, the Chinese are poker- 
faced because the boys and girls are taught not to show their anger 
or laugh out loud. But in the United States these same Chinese will 
laugh aloud and express their emotions openly. Adopted into an 
average American home, an Eskimo child would wither in a state 
of frustrated bewilderment. In the Eskimo folkways, the child's 
every urge is catered to as if it were an expectant mother. Gontran 
de Poncins, author of the exotic tale, Kabloona, observes: "It was 
clear that the child was master in the Eskimo family." A few pages 
later he relates an illustrative incident of life in an Eskimo igloo. 
He tells us : "I was trying to get to sleep when of a sudden the child, 
lying between its parents under their only blanket, began to cry. 
He wept, and then he howled. The toothache, I thought; he must 
have the toothache. Not at all. It was tea he wanted. At one in the 
morning. And would his parents silence him? Punish him? By 
no means. His mother got up, got the Primus going again in the 
dark, in order not to disturb me and brewed tea for him. All this 
to content a wtiim. Had the child cried for the moon his father 
would have shot at it with the native bow and arrows that lay 
near by on the ground." 

In the United States if a man saw his wife in bed with another 
man that would make him angry at least. In the Central Arctic 
region, on King William Land, if a Canadian Eskimo saw his 
wife in bed with another man, he would feel pleased that the other 
man had seen fit to accept his friendship and hospitality. 

In filming The Story of Dr. W asset a scene called for an Amer- 
ican sailor to make love to a Javanese maiden. The technical ad- 
visers said that he should show his emotion by "sniffing her hair and 

i jo Psychology for the Millions 

her ears as they do in Java." But Producer Cecil B. De Mille said 
she should be kissed in the American way. She was kissed. 


A great part of your emotional training consists in acquiring 
polite and socially accepted methods of venting your spleen. "Joey, 
don't spit." "No, you mustn't bite." "Why did you kick that little 
boy?" "Don't scratch." "Stop rolling on the floor." "Stop jumping 
up and down." These are cultural admonitions that every mother 
has to exercise with her brood. Picture the adult human if his in- 
fant spitting, biting, kicking, scratching, and fighting propensi- 
ties hadn't been curbed from early childhood a world of go- 

In October 1920, Rev. J. L. Singh, a Christian missionary at Mid- 
napore, India, found the two wolf-girls who were later named 
Amala and Kamala. As reported by Lois Mattox Miller in Science 
News Letter the children, one about eight and the other about a 
year-and-a-half, were discovered in a wolf den with two cubs. 
"The children were more ferocious than the cubs. Long matted 
hair fell below their shoulders, their jaws had a strange wolf-like 
formation, their teeth were sharp and pointed. They would eat no 
vegetable food, but could scent raw meat at a long distance." 

The children responded very slowly to the kindness and affec- 
tion of Mrs. Singh, the Reverend's wife. Then after eleven months 
at the orphanage Amala, the younger child, died. "At Amala's 
death, Kamala, the older one, shed tears her first sign of human 


After nine years at the orphanage, "Kamala lost most of her 
animal traits, and showed signs of developing into a lovable, obe- 
dient child. Then on November 14, 1929, she died." According to 
the physician who attended both children, the poor wolf-girls 
found difficulty in eating anything but meat and milk. It was his 
opinion that their improvement toward human normalcy was 
greatly retarded by their unbalanced diet. 

Consumers, Criminals, and Emotions 151 

In the wolf-children we see an example of the extreme in emo- 
tional training. It might appear at first that there was no training. 
But such a thought would be incorrect. For in any situation learn- 
ing would take place by mimicry. Assuming that the children were 
reared by wolves from infancy, their training would then be 
largely a matter of imitation. This, indeed, seemed to be the case as 
evidenced by their wolf-like ferocity when first found. 


In most elementary courses in psychology, especially those in 
which the instructor hasn't changed his notes in twenty years, sev- 
eral sessions are spent on the James-Lange theory of emotions. 
This theory was put forth sixty years ago independently by Pro- 
fessor William James and Karl G. Lange, a Danish physiologist. 
They both had the same idea, so it has been named the James- 
Lange theory. According to their theory, the emotions you feel 
follow the body changes that take place in the emotional state. 
They say: You see a bear, run away, then are afraid. Silly isn't it? 
Common-sense would say: You see the bear, are afraid, and then 
run. If some oaf steps on your pet corn, Professor James would say: 
You swear at him, then become angry. You would say: You be- 
come angry and then swear at him. 

The James-Lange theory was put forth to disprove the common- 
sense idea. They held that the intellect sees danger, for instance; 
this puts the body into action, the actions of the body then give 
rise to the feeling of fear. Therefore the feeling would be impos- 
sible without the bodily or internal actions. 

Almost forty years ago Dr. C. S. Sherrington of Yale performed 
a clever experiment on a dog. He cut all the nerves carrying sen- 
sations from the interior of the trunk. Yet the dog showed anger, 
joy, and fear when provoked. In 1926 Dr. Walter B. Cannon did 
similar experiments on the nerve connections of cats and dogs. All 
his animals showed emotions. But, argue some psychologists, 
these animals may only be showing the signs of fear and anger. 

x 52 Psychology -for the Millions 

How do we know whether they really feel angry or are afraid? 

Commenting upon the results of these animal experiments, psy- 
chologist Gardner B. Murphy says: "It seems a little far-fetched to 
suppose that the emotion depends in any way upon sensations re- 
ceived from these vital organs." Professor Murphy further points 
out that three different emotions fear, rage, and pain produce 
the same internal changes. And if your fear or rage depended 
upon the internal change, you couldn't know from that whether 
you were feeling fear or anger. Yet when threatened by a blazing 
fire you certainly know that it isn't a "towering rage" that makes 
you flee. 

In true academic fashion, Professor Murphy cautiously con- 
cludes from such reasoning that the question is not closed, "but," 
says he, "it leaves the argument rather against the James-Lange 
explanation and necessitates looking more closely for a physiologi- 
cal explanation which will really cover the facts." 

Outside of the classroom, there would be no doubt in one's mind 
that Professors James and Lange were talking through their hats. 
But for sixty years now, hapless students have been subjected to 
this dispute as to whether "you run first and then feel afraid" or 
"feel afraid and then run." 

Nor has this archaic dispute been placed in the discard. It is still 
very much in evidence in modern textbooks on psychology. In a 
really good up-to-date book Professor Lawrence A. Averill of 
Worcester State Teachers College introduces it with this caption: 
Do we act first or feel first? Then he briefly gives the James-Lange 
point of view and the Walter B. Cannon idea. He concludes by 
saying: "Whichever may be ultimately shown to be the correct 
viewpoint, nobody discounts the fact that in times of emotion there 
is a profound upheaval of internal processes and functions deep 
within our bodies." 

From this, we may conclude that there would be some doubt in 
this teacher's mind as to whether a man feels depressed before he 
commits suicide or after it. 

Consumers, Criminals, and Emotions 153 

Dr. Averill's statement is significant in that it indicates that col- 
lege professors are going to continue to plague their students with 
this useless classroom claptrap. And why / bothered the reader 
with it, is a mystery to this writer. 


Not many years ago, psychological consideration of the topic of 
emotions indulged in making long lists of human emotions. These 
were named and placed in categories. Then a great deal of quib- 
bling and hair-splitting would take place as to whether certain 
emotions were simple or complex, whether they were present at 
birth or matured, whether they were hereditary or environmental. 
This is still going on in some psychological textbooks. 

A pioneer in the scientific study of human emotions was^John B. 
Watson, the founder of Behaviorist psychology. As a result of his 
revolutionary experiments with newborn sucklings, he concluded 
that there were only three innate, unlearned emotions : fear, anger, 
and love. This was accepted for many years. However, experiments 
by Drs. M. and I. Sherman and K. C. Pratt and his associates have 
recently questioned the existence of such clear-cut emotional states 
in infants. Another controversy has been launched. 

That the newborn shows emotional responses is agreed by all, 
but the specific naming or labeling of these responses is a matter 
of dispute. 

In babies, patterns of emotion are not so well defined or pre- 
dictable. The child is capable of shifting his reactions as fast as you 
switch on a light. The baby will cry and laugh through his tears. 
He will turn from anger to smiles with the tickling of his tummy. 
This is not due to the fact that the infant feels any less deeply than 
the adult. In his uninhibited state the child gets it out and gets it 
over with. A mode of behavior not always available to, or under- 
stood by the socialized grown-up. And, says George Kent, it is a 
healthy lesson in "what we can learn from children" as he de- 
scribes a conversation between Mary and her mother: 

1 54 Psychology for the Millions 

Mary, aged nine, says to her mother, "May I bring Carlotta home 
for dinner tonight ?" 

Her mother replies, "But yesterday you said you hated Carlotta." 

"Aw gee, that was yesterday," cries Mary, disgusted with her 
mother's inability to understand. 

As an infant your emotional reaction to any stimulus consisted of 
a total body, undiff erentiated response. It was a bewildered, diffuse 
reaction. Then, as growth and learning took place, the emotional 
reaction was applied more directly to the thing that caused it. You 
were applying intelligence to your emotional behavior. 

When an adult is bitten by a dog, and because of it shows a fear 
of all animals, this is a reversion to infantile emotional behavior. 
The jilted "woman-hater" just hasn't grown up. The narrow- 
minded anti-Semite who may have been cheated by one Jew is 
emotionally diffuse. The fanatic who hates all surgeons because she 
believes her cancerous father was killed by surgery is the victim of 
unmatured emotions. In fact, most cultists and fanatics are mani- 
festing generalized infant emotionalism rather than specific adult 

In the psychologically mature person, emotional patterns are 
well-defined and predictable. When you get to know a person you 
know what circumstances will make him react with love, shrink 
from fear, or bristle with anger. At least you think you know. 
Nevertheless, it is easily seen that these three basic emotions: fear, 
anger and love, are separate and distinct. Tennyson wrote: 

As love, if love be perfect, casts out fear, 
So hate, if hate be perfect, casts out fear. 

Tennyson knew his Bible and built immortal poetry on it. In 
the New Testament, we find ; "There is no fear in love ; but perfect 
love casteth out fear." The poetic and biblical observation that love 
and hate cast out fear is scientific. It is a physiological truth, despite 
the fact that our scriptural fathers knew little about the glands or 
nervous system. In anger, your body organs prepare you to attack. 

Consumers, Criminals, and Emotions 155 

In fear, your body gets ready to withdraw. You can't do both at 
once; therefore, "hate casts out fear." 

The emotions of fear and anger are controlled by a part of your 
involuntary nervous system, called the sympathetic nerves, which, 
in turn, act in unison with the secretion of adrenalin from the 
adrenal glands. The other part of the involuntary nervous system 
is the cranial and sacral nerves, which control your emotions of 
love. The two parts work in opposition. Thus, "love casts out fear." 

In the adult personality one recognizes many more emotions 
than the three we call love, anger, and hate. But for convenience 
in writing about them, John B. Watson's basically described three 
are used as classifications. The terms "fear," "anger," and "love," 
should be thought of as three types of emotional reaction, respec- 
tively: withdrawing, attaching and attraction. 

Considering fear as a withdrawing impulse ; it is associated with 
such feelings as worry, nervousness, insecurity, embarrassment, 
dread, jealousy, terror, and anxiety. 

Taking anger as an attacking impulse; it becomes associated 
with feelings of irritation, sullenness, vexation, heatedness, and 

Thinking of love as an attraction impulse; it is associated with 
feelings of joy, delight, devotion, submission, repentance, affection, 
and passion. 

It is true that many of these words, supposedly descriptive of 
emotion or feeling, are really synonyms for modes of behavior. It 
is not our purpose to split hairs. Suffice it to say that you know 
pretty well what is implied by the terms fear, anger, and love. 

By ingenious and patient experiments with infants, Dr. Watson 
demonstrated how humans acquire and lose their fear and other 
emotional reactions. He used the principle of conditioning or the 
conditioned reflex. This phenomenon was first demonstrated by 
the now famous Russian physiologist, Ivan P. Pavlov. Let us di- 
gress for a moment to briefly describe the original work of Dr. 

1 56 Psychology for the Millions 


Using dogs for his laboratory experiments, Dr. Pavlov noted 
that just before being fed, a great amount of saliva was produced 
in the dog's mouth. Later, he noted that the dog's mouth would be- 
gin to water when he smelled the food or heard the attendant's 
familiar footsteps. Everyone has experienced this phenomenon 
and gives voice to it when one says, "My mouth waters even at the 
thought of food." 

The secretion of saliva at the taste of food is an automatic, or re- 
flex action of the salivary glands. When such an automatic reac- 
tion occurs in the absence of the original stimulus, but responds to 
something associated with it, we have what is called a conditioned 
reflex. The procedure by which this response to a substitute stimu- 
lus is produced, is known as conditioning. 

In his first experiments Pavlov would sound a buzzer and then 
feed the dog. At the appearance of the food and the sound of the 
buzzer the dog would salivate. After a few days' training, the dog 
would begin to salivate merely at the sound of the buzzer. The dog 
was thus conditioned to the stimulus associated with the food, 
namely, the sound of the buzzer. 

To uncondition the dog, or break this foolish habit as it were, 
the buzzer was repeatedly sounded without being followed by 
food. After a time the dog ceased to salivate at the sound of the 
buzzer. No food, therefore no saliva. The dog had learned better. 


John B.Watson employed this procedure of conditioning to show 
how fears are established and how they can be eliminated. Before 
Dr. Watson published his work, it used to be thought that people 
had natural or instinctive fears of darkness, deep water, death, 
great heights, rats, snakes, ghosts, and ferocious animals. Freudian 
psychologists still believe that such fears may be "inherent" or 
"racially inherited." But this enterprising psychologist, who took 

Consumers, Criminals, and Emotions 157 

newborn infants into the psychological laboratory, claimed and 
proved that children and adults who feared these things, had 
learned to fear them. He put his beliefs to the test. And by his 
experiments he demonstrated that people acquire most of their 
fear, anger, and love reactions through the process of conditioning, 
or what may be called learning by association. 

Baby Albert has become Dr. Watson's most renowned subject 
in the psychological textbooks. At the age of eleven months Albert 
played joyfully with rabbits, pigeons, fur muffs, and white rats. But 
he was afraid of a loud noise made by striking a steel bar with a 
hammer. This set the stage for Professor Watson's now famous 

A white rat was presented to Albert. As he reached out to touch 
the rat, a steel bar was struck loudly behind him. The infant 
jumped violently and buried his face in the mattress. The next 
time he reached for the rat, the noise was repeated and Albert be- 
gan to whimper. Seven days later when the rat was presented 
alone, the baby shied away from it. On three more occasions the 
loud noise was presented with the rat. After this, whenever the 
rat was presented alone, Albert showed his fear by crying and 
crawling away on all fours. Who wouldn't? 

To determine whether this fear had spread to other objects, Dr. 
Watson tested Albert with a rabbit, a dog, a fur coat, and cotton 
wool. To all of these the infant showed a negative reaction. He 
either cried or crawled away in haste. Yet none of these things had 
been presented with the loud noise. Before his experience with 
the rat, Albert had joyfully played with rabbits, dogs, and fur 
muffs. It was clear that his conditioned fear to the white rat had 
spread to furry objects in general. 

Real life situations of conditioned fears are occurring every 
minute of the day. A radio blares out suddenly in the presence of 
an infant. The startled child begins to cry. Later the mere sight of 
the radio causes the infant to whimper. Bursting balloons, sudden 
starting elevators, and loud automobile horns are the stimuli 

1 58 Psychology for the Millions 

through which a child acquires a fear of balloon venders, office 
buildings, or automobiles. 

The process of acquiring emotional habits through conditioning 
is not restricted to fears. Nor does it apply only to children. It is 
equally potent in the emotions of love and anger. Moreover it is 
the method by which many adult emotional attitudes are estab- 
lished and abolished. 


You find yourself liking and disliking many things in life even 
though you have never experienced them. The reason for this is 
that they are associated with objects that you like or dislike. Fre- 
quently you or your child will refuse to eat some new food prepara- 
tion. "You never even tasted it, how do you know you don't like 
it?" demands the cook. Your refusal is probably based on the fact 
that the new dish is associated in your mind with something else 
that looked or smelled unpleasant. The very color of the food may 
be responsible for your antipathy. Creamed spinach affects some 
people that way. 

Psychologists have found that colors can be very influential in 
affecting behavior. Interior decorators, lighting experts, and color 
engineers have applied the results of these researches. H. Ketcham 
has written an interesting article on this subject which he titles, 
"Color Schemers." In one experiment with direct-mail sales let- 
ters, eighteen percent replies were received when white envelopes 
were sent out as against forty-eight percent when pink paper and 
blue envelopes were used. 

Convention is known to play an important role in your attitude 
toward colors. By conditioning or custom, red has come to be re- 
garded as a bright, cheerful and dangerous color, while blue sug- 
gests moods that are less gay. This fact is reflected in the popular 
expression, "blue Monday." Can you imagine a funeral parlor 
done up in red? By the same token, black for the kitchen where 

Consumers, Criminals, and Emotions 159 

the housewife's work is apt to place her in a "black mood" anyway, 
is ill advised. Red rather than the commonly used white would do 
more to brighten up the morning grouch of the breakfast nook. 
Under no circumstances should yellow be the color of choice for 
the eating chamber. It seems to be associated in the popular mind 
with things so distasteful as to be conducive to nausea in places 
where food is being served. Airline companies had to eliminate it 
from their interior decorations because it was found to contribute 
to the nausea of air-sickness. Samuel Hibben, the lighting expert, 
tried out his theories on the effect of colors on eating habits. At the 
expense of his dinner guests he indulged his curiosity. Hibben or- 
dered his chef to prepare his best dishes. Then he chose lighting 
effects which made the food appear so unappetizing that few of 
his guests could eat it, and many of those who did became ill. This 
is commonly known as the power of suggestion. Psychologically, 
the reaction is one of negative conditioning. 


In advertising, the reverse of this procedure is constantly taking 
place. Positive conditioning is being employed. The object for sale 
is invariably surrounded by all that is delectable, desirable, and 

Veronica Lake is pictured with a North Star Blanket which she 
uses for a "luxuriously soft, cozily warm" night's sleep. Elsewhere 
she is shown stating that "Brisk is the word for Lipton's Tea." And 
she graces the Woodbury face powder advertisement because she 
"likes Woodbury Natural." Beautiful Paulette Goddard rubs an 
enticing shoulder with a towel as she confesses to being "a Lux 
girl." The curves of Dorothy Lamour are saronged in a towel after 
a "luxurious Lux bath." With a cake of soap in her hand, Sonja 
Henie displays her cute dimple and graceful torso. Elsewhere the 
Ice Queen holds a canary in her hand next to a box of French's 
bird seed. 

160 Psychology for the Millions 

Diana Barrymore, photographed on a page with Arrid deodor- 
ant, thinks it "is a wonderful product because it gives complete 

Lippy Leo Durocher of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Charlie But- 
terworth, straight-faced comedian, grace the pages of the Rhein- 
gold Beer advertisements along with the Rheingold girl of that 

The late Ernie Pyle, dressed as a war correspondent, smokes a 
Chesterfield Screen Star John Wayne is seen with a tomato juice 
cocktail in his hand that "sure is a wow" Character-actor Walter 
Brennan is in the same predicament John Boles of stage and 
screen smiles at a bottle of White Rock; "Tonight . . . taste the 
difference! Tomorrow. . . . feel the difference!" Smiling Kate 
Smith is shown eating and enjoying "the product she advertises 
on the air Jello." Enough of this. 

Psychological conditioning is the method behind these adver- 
tisements. The idea is for you to associate the lovely faces, smooth 
shoulders, and successful celebrities with the product for sale. 
When you see Lux soap in the grocery, you think of Lamour. At 
ten cents, it's a good buy. 

Commenting on the madcap of high-pressure advertising with 
conditioning as the weapon, George D. Stoddard, Commissioner 
of Education for the State of New York, says, "The advertiser is 
the modern medicine man. He assumes strange disguises and 
mutters weird incantations. His images are repeated in three-color 
plates for the millions to see; his abracadabra rides the radio 


In explaining his purpose in this castigation of the advertising 
scene, the former Iowa University psychologist explains that it is 
not his desire to eliminate advertising, but to reveal an illogical, 
social inconsistency that has been allowed to develop. One cannot 
help but agree with Dr. Stoddard that it is a crazy set-up, in which 
we spend time and money to educate people on the one hand, and 

Consumers, Criminals, and Emotions 161 

then bombard them with hokum to shake them from their logic 
and science. 

Many other aspects of daily behavior are governed by the con- 
ditioning of your attitudes and emotions. Often the thing to which 
you are negatively conditioned is way in the background of your 
mind. This is usually the case when you say, "I don't know why but 
for some reason or other I am prejudiced against that person." The 
same thought is expressed by the familiar rhyme, "I do not like 
thee, Dr. Fell; the reason why I cannot tell." Two persons who are 
very close will begin to show similar tastes and similar likes and 
dislikes for brand new things. This is undoubtedly due to condi- 
tioning by related experiences. 

The parent and salesman who know their psychology, sell their 
most unsavory goods by surrounding it with objects of positive 
conditioning. A mother feeds her little one spinach with one hand, 
while she holds a lollypop in the other. The "con man" who sells 
a cat's fur in an ermine box is practising applied psychology. His 
techniques are based on the same principle used by the advertising 
executive conditioning. 

Generally, emotional reactions are the ones which become 
subtly and deeply conditioned. You are not generally aware that 
your emotions are being conditioned by ordinary circumstances 
in daily life. Yet there are many daily situations to which most of 
us react alike. People give voice to these common associations 
through familiar expressions such as these: "My heart is in my 
mouth when I pass that corner." "Shadows give me the jitters." "I 
shudder at the thought of a snake." "When you mention that name 
I see red." 

Aside from expressing emotional conditioning, these ideas are 
descriptive of bodily changes during emotional excitement. When 
you become angry, fearful, or passionate all your body organs and 
tissues come into play. The nervous system sends a message to the 
adrenal glands which charge your blood with adrenalin. This has 

162 Psychology for the Millions 

wide-sweeping effects. Your heart beats faster. Your blood pres- 
sure goes up. Your breathing becomes irregular. Digestion is in- 
terfered with. Sweat pours out of your skin. 

These and other symptoms have been noted by many physiolo- 
gists. They are quite common to all humans. In recent years these 
emotional symptoms have been used as a basis for scientific lie 


The latest invention for trapping criminals is a lie detector ma- 
chine. With it, Leonard Keeler of Northwestern University has 
been exposing guilty law breakers from all parts of the world. In 
a series of three articles Alva Johnston describes some of the amaz- 
ing results obtained by this college professor with his emotion- 
probing device. 

In 1931 Lloyd's of London called on Professor Keeler to help 
trace a loss of $1600 in a bank. Fifty-four employees were tested 
with his lie detector. To his astonishment, twelve of the bank 
clerks showed guilty reactions. Nine of them confessed. The bank 
president fired all the suspects. 

Rose Gendler was murdered at Rock Island, Illinois. The police 
put almost the entire neighborhood under examination by the lie 
detector. The machine pointed an accusing finger at Morris Meyer 
who had not been suspected in the least. Without legal evidence 
he couldn't be arrested, for the results of the machine test alone are 
not yet accepted by the courts. Meyer disappeared for a time. He 
returned months later thinking he could beat the case. But when 
ordered to face the lie detector again, he confessed to the killing. 

Professor Keeler calls his detection machine a "polygraph" be- 
cause it graphs the suspect's changes in blood pressure, pulse rate, 
respiration and skin electricity. The machine is an improvement 
of an original one devised and used successfully by John A. Larson 
at Berkeley, California. 

During an examination, a rubber cuff as in the usual blood 

Consumers, Criminals, and Emotions 163 

pressure test is wound around the upper arm ; attached to it is a pen 
which records pulse rate and blood pressure. A harness-like ar- 
rangement placed around the chest, makes a record of changes in 
breathing. Two metal plates on the wrist pick up electrical changes 
in the skin which are recorded by a third pen. The electrical skin 
changes are caused by increased perspiration. In the guilty person, 
these reactions are speeded up by the secretion of adrenalin invol- 
untarily stimulated by their inner fears. 

In conducting a test, the examiner asks questions which can be 
answered by "yes" or "no." Disturbing questions are varied with ir- 
relevant ones. An innocent query such as, "Did you eat today?" 
may be followed with a blunt one such as, "Did you kill Joe Doaks 
with a knife?" 

Interesting emotional side-lights often crop up during a series 
of tests. In one examination, Mr. Keeler was testing the business 
manager of a university at which several thefts had occurred. At a 
certain point in the test the executive's blood pressure curve jumped 
up for no apparent reason. Showing him the record, Mr. Keeler 
questioned him about it. The business manager pointed to a fire 
escape across the street. There sat a woman taking a sun bath. She 
had been wearing a bathrobe, but at the point where the recording 
pens went wild, she had been removing her robe. 

On another occasion, a doctor was experimenting with a woman 
patient. He was surprised to see her blood pressure rise violently 
without cause. It seems that as she gazed around the room she had 
been startled by the sight of a human skull leering at her from a 

It is easy to see that the lie detector has possibilities for use other 
than crime detection. It might make a good true-love tester for 
couples anticipating marriage. As an employee character-analyzer 
it could be used by industrial organizations. In the office of a psy- 
choanalyst, the polygraph could be put to good use. 

Physiological crime detection did not originate in modern times. 
The ancient Chinese used to require all the suspects in a crime to 

164 Psychology for the Millions 

swallow a handful of dry rice. Fear inhibits the flow of saliva. The 
guilty person would be the one who couldn't swallow the rice be- 
cause his saliva would go dry. 

Leonard Keeler made use of this dry mouth symptom in one 
interesting case. Seeking to trace a $100,000 bond theft, the entire 
personnel of a bank was examined. While testing the cashier, Mr. 
Keeler particularly noticed that he was continuously swallowing, 
and answered the questions in a hollow dry voice. For this reason, 
though the polygraph showed little reaction, Mr. Keeler called the 
cashier back for a second test. Before submitting, the clerk con- 
fessed to the president of the bank that he had embezzled $48,000 
a shortage which had not previously been discovered. 

These liars and thieves caught by the detection polygraph are ex- 
posed by their emotional conditioning. The crucial words and 
ideas that trap the victims have been deeply associated with the 
fears and agitations that take place in these persons while com- 
mitting their crimes. Dave Huffine seems to have caught two 
knaves in the accompanying cartoon as they are going through the 

Although they may control their facial muscles and outward 
signs of guilt, the evil-doers cannot control their respiration, per- 
spiration, digestion or blood pressure. These are under the influence 
of the involuntary nervous system. The muscles of the legs, arms, 
face, and chassis, known as skeletal muscles, are under the control 
of the voluntary nervous system. You can change the action of 
your face and arms at will but you cannot tell your blood pressure 
to go up or down or your glands to secrete saliva. That's why actors 
can act. That's why Pagliacci could clown though his heart was 
breaking. That's why, though these bad characters be good actors, 
they are betrayed by their emotions controlled by the involuntary 
nervous system and glandular action. 

In this very same manner of "will" versus "feelings," your emo- 
tional training or conditioning is very often engaged in a duel 
with your body urges. Your training says, "control," but your bio 

Consumers, Criminals, and Emotions 


I The Curtis Publishing C*. 

ff l dread that first awkward silence when they discover us." 

logical love, anger, or hate kicks over the traces. Your brain tells 
you to refrain, but your heart sings a refrain. 

Freud sets up this conflict as a battle between the "Id" and the 
"Ego" which goes on behind the scenes of the unconscious. The 
names differ but the story is the same. In this case, what was re- 
ferred to as the heart and body urges, would be represented by the 
Freudian "Id." The attempt to curb the lawless or lustful emo- 
tional desires is the impulse that Freud calls the "Ego." 

In this chapter we have emphasized the training or conditioning 
influences to which man's emotions respond. However, there is 
another side to emotional reactions, namely the biological or 
bodily origins. This, in a large measure, stems from a source known 
as the endocrine glands or the endocrine system. 

166 Psychology for the Millions 

Endocrinology is a young science. It practically grew up between 
the two World Wars. Psychology has adopted it as an integral 
part of its learning because of its much touted basis in emotional 
behavior. Like all new sciences, endocrinology attracted unin- 
formed boosters who hastily eulogized and theorized about its 
far-flung potentialities. They prematurely sounded-off on emo- 
tional and psychological miracles that the endocrine glands could 
be made to perform in the hands of the specialist. 

Though the functions of the endocrine glands within the body 
are truly far reachingand spectacular and often-times bizarre, much 
fanciful speculation has been infused with the scientific facts about 
them. Thus, in the hope of correcting some of these widespread 
erroneous impressions, you will find in the chapter that follows, a 
quantity of scientific endocrinology side by side with applied psy- 

v^ianf ao f^e i^Oearoeo (^waoy 


Tannenbaum, a man who became a woman after undergoing an 
operation, gave birth to a boy." So reads a United Press release 
from Rome, Italy, dated October 22, 1941. Following the caption 
the news dispatch informs us that "mother and child are doing 

No, Franz Tannenbaum was not a masquerader. He was a man. 
At least he thought he was until he found out differently. This is 
not a hoax. It is merely an example of the influence of the endocrine 
glands on the human make-up. 

Dr. Louis Berg explains this "man bites a dog" event from first- 
hand knowledge. In his book, The Human Personality, speaking 
of men that grow to look like women and women that have the 
appearance of men, Dr. Berg relates that as a freshman in medical 
school, he had occasion to dissect the body of a supposed male. 
"And only when he discovered ovaries did it become evident that 
the individual was a woman. The history showed that the de- 
ceased had lived the life of a male!" 

Just as amazing as the man who gave birth to a child is the case 
of a young girl who had her birth certificate changedfromafemale 
to a male at the age of fifteen. Treated as a girl from childhood, 
her parents had noted that as she reached the age of thirteen she 
hadn't begun to show any typically girlish traits. Thinking that 

168 Psychology for the Millions 

her athletic build and activities were mere tomboyishness they gave 
it little thought. But when at fifteen there were no menstrual symp- 
toms and only increasing boyishness they became concerned. Then 
it was noted that her clitoris, which in the female corresponds to 
the male penis, had become so enlarged as to protrude from the 

Medical examination showed undescended testes in the abdo- 
men. The full maleness of the child was brought out by surgical 
operation and endocrine therapy. Mary Jones became Tom Jones 
physically and legally. 

This case of physical sex inversion is not an absolute rarity; there 
have been hundreds reported in medical literature.* 

While transformation from male to female is a bad enough 
personality change, (the male speaking), it is not the most tragic 
effect that can befall an individual as a result of badly function- 
ing endocrine glands. A glimpse at the circus side-show is a study 
in hapless endocrine disorders. 


The circus giant has a run-away pituitary gland. The 500 pound 
"fat lady" of the circus has a thyroid gland that's out of kilter. 
Standing next to the fat lady is the thirty-inch "circus midget"; 
his trouble is a lack of pituitary or thyroid gland secretion. The 
"bearded lady" has an overactive cortex in her adrenal gland. 
The "pin head" has an underactive adrenal The "infant hercules" 
may have too much pituitary, or a disordered adrenal gland. The 
"half man half woman" one enlarged breast and partly bearded 
face is the result of disturbed function of the sex glands. 

The "living skeleton" is an example of a disordered pituitary or 
thyrqid gland function or both. 

These are but a few of the extreme varieties of human develop- 

* In the collection, Studies In Personality, Catherine Cox Miles gives an interesting psy- 
chological study of a case such as I have described above. The author investigates an 
adolescent graduated from high school as a girl named Martha who became a man named 
Martin at the age of 20 after a successful surgical operation. 

The Circus Giant and the Bearded Lady 169, 

ment directly related to the function of the endocrine glands. That 
they effect the personalities of their possessors is self-evident. 

Imagine how you would feel if you were Robert Wadlow, 19 
years of age, 8 feet, 9^/2 inches tall, and had to wear a size 39 shoe; 
or if you were Edward Bright, "the fat man of Essex," weighing 
616 pounds; or if you were Calvin Edson, a living skeleton, 5 feet, 
4 inches tall, weighing 42 pounds at the age of 42. Even if there 
were no personality effects from the glandular secretions, there 
would be undeniable mental differences related to the feeling of 
being different. 


In truth the function of the endocrine glands plays an incal- 
culable role in making you what you are. Less than one droplet a 
day of thyroid secretion can make the difference between an idiot 
and an intellect. A sudden loss of thyroid secretion in an adult can 
transform a normal, healthy person into a listless, slow thinking, 
irrational personality. Nor is the function of these glands restricted 
to abnormal development. 

"The best all-around woman performer the country has ever 
known, was a hard-bitten, hawk-nosed, thin-mouthed little hoy- 
den from Texas by the name of Mildred Didrikson, but her nick- 
name was Babe. She was the sensation of the 1932 Olympic Games 
at Los Angeles. . . . She was a tomboy who never wore make-up, 
who shingled her hair until it was as short as a boy's and never 
bothered to comb it, who didn't care about clothes and who de- 
spised silk underthings as being sissy She had a boy's body, slim, 
straight, curveless, and she looked her best in a track suit." 

In his book, Farewell to Sport, this was Paul Gallico's first de- 
scription of the woman who is still the world's best all around 
athlete and \yho is to this day beating the top ranking golf profes- 
sionals in the country. 

The point I wish to make hinges upon Mr. Gallico's description 
of Babe Didrikson as he later saw her in 1938. He says: "The torn- 

1 70 Psychology for the Millions 

boy had vanished. Her hair had grown out and it had a stylish 
permanent wave. There was a touch of rouge on her cheeks and 
red at her lips. She wore an attractive sports ensemble and had a 
purse to match, with her initials on it. Inside the purse were com- 
pact and lipstick, tiny lace handkerchief and comb and all the rest 
of the first-aid kit to repair feminine ravages. I looked at her and 
grinned and she knew what I was grinning at: She said: 'Yeah, 
and Ah got silk on underneath and Ah like it.' She had come into 
her woman's birthright by a curiously devious route, but she had 
got there, which, I imagine, was more than she ever expected." 

This "devious route" to womanhood, that Paul Gallico speaks 
of, is the fact that Miss Didrikson had become a professional 
athlete. As such she toured the country, made money, became a 
celebrity and "being a famous person suddenly, she began to at- 
tract men a little more." While this may be an entirely plausible 
explanation of Miss Didrikson's late show of femininity, I am in- 
clined to hazard a guess that linked with it there was a fortunate 
change in endocrine function. 

Babe Didrikson's earlier distinction of being an Olympic star 
plus the world's greatest amateur athlete, would be a strong mag- 
net for attracting the attention of men. For even as Gallico himself 
says after he describes her in bloom: "Ugly duckling that she was, 
she had acquired that strange and inexplicable glamour that 
apparently is a part of every great woman athlete." And when 
Babe Didrikson ran. away with the 1932 Olympics she was not 
only a great woman athlete, but at the age where a young girl's 
mind very very normally turns to men and to things feminine. 
Yet at this time she was anything but feminine. 

Although my views are mere conjecture, I would venture to say 
that this great athlete's late entrance into womanhood is attribut- 
able to a combination of late endocrine responses plus a psy- 
chologically male outlook acquired through an early life over- 
flowing with athletic competition. I should like the reader to bear 

The Circus Giant and the Bearded Lady 171 

in mind this reference to a combination of glands and psycho- 
logical influences as they effect personality. In it we see the two 
factors of heredity and environment at work in shaping people. 

Paul Gallico's observation, that the former tomboy had come 
into her "woman's birthright/' was an accurate diagnosis of the 
telltale signs. Mildred Didrikson is now very much married to 
George Zaharias, the 275 pound ex-professional wrestler. With 
good-natured humor as their intent, the newspaper reporters de- 
scribed him as "overwhelming her with an unabashed hug and a 
.kiss" at the i8th hole of the Park Ridge course, when she won the 
1944 women's Western open golf championship. 


What are these potent endocrines, a thimbleful of which can 
put a man into Ripley's Believe It or Not? 

These endocrine glands are quarter-inch to two-inch masses of 
tissue located in the head, neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis. Un- 
like the sweat glands and saliva glands their secretions are picked 
up directly by the blood stream. They are sometimes referred to 
as the ductless glands because they haven't any ducts or tubes lead- 
ing into specific parts of the body as do the other glands. The loca- 
tion of these glands is pictured in the accompanying sketch. 

From the top down we have: 

(a) the pineal pronounced PIN e al 

(b) pituitary accented as in pi-ruitary 

(c) parathyroids said as, PA ra THY roids 

(d) thymus simply, THYmus, as in thigh 

(e) islets of Langerhans named after Dr. LANGerhans, who 
first recognized these islets in the pancreas. 

(f ) adrenals aDREnals, sometimes called supraREnals because 
they are on top of the renals or kidneys 

(g) gonads pronounced conads, known as testes in the male, 
and ovaries in the female. 

1 72 Psychology for the Millions 

In connection with these glands we often speak of hyperhinc- 
tion and /typofunction. It is worth noting that the prefix hyper 
means over, or excessive, while the prefix hypo means under or 
too little. A hyperactive gland is one that is secreting too much, 
while a hypoactive one secretes too little. The secretions from these 
glands may have individual names such as pituitrin, one of the 





The location of the principal endocrine glands. (From L. Shaffer, 
The Psychology of Adjustment, Hough ton Mifflin, Publishers) 

secretions from the pituitary, and cstrin from the ovaries. But the 
general term for the chemical secretion of an endocrine gland is a 
hormone. A hormone is thought of as a catalyst or a chemical that 
regulates a physiological process. 

More information has been gathered on the endocrine glands 
within the last twenty-five years than in all the work combined 
since the time of Hippocrates. Endocrinology is a young science. 

The Circus Giant and the Bearded Lady 173 

There is much that remains to be discovered about the workings 
of these glands. It is known, however, that their function is highly 
interrelated and overlapping. The secretion of one gland sets off, 
inhibits, or supports the action of another. 

For example, when conception occurs the pituitary gland, the 
thyroid gland, and the gonads all act to give the typical pictures 
of early pregnancy. The ovaries stop producing eggs; menstrua- 
tion ceases. The pituitary gland stops its egg-developing effect 
on the ovaries and takes on the function of preparing the ovaries 
for pregnancy. The thyroid gland has to reorganize its food burn- 
ing activity. And until it does, the pregnant female suffers from 
dizzy spells, nausea, and an inability to hold down food. The 
placenta takes on an endocrine role, even stealing the thunder 
of the pituitary and ovaries by its secretion of huge amounts of 
pituitary and estrogenic hormones. 

Another example of the overlapping function of the endocrine 
glands is the fact that disturbance in sexual development or nor- 
mal growth can occur as a result of disordered adrenals, pituitary, 
gonads, thyroid, or thymus glands. A little too much pituitary 
gland secretion incites the sex glands to early action; the result 
is an oversexed man or woman. A tumor on the adrenal gland 
may cause an excessive secretion of cortin, resulting in an over- 
sexed child at the age of seven or eight; sexual experience will 
be desired without the mature intellect to control or understand 
it. The thyroid gland f not commonly associated with sexual func- 
tion, plays an important role in this theatre; in menstruation and 
in pregnancy the gland is seen to swell up. An enlarged thyrnus 
gland at the time of puberty is associated with a lack of sexual 

In their interdependence it might accurately be stated that these 
glands of internal secretion make up an endocrine system, much 
as we speak of a nervous system, or a circulatory system. This fact 
should be borne in mind as we speak of the bodily or personality 
effect of one or another gland. The disorder attributed to one 

1 74 Psychology -for the Millions 

gland may just as easily be due to another or a combination of 
other glands. With our current knowledge of these glands many 
unhappy human deviations attributed to them can be corrected 
if nipped in the bud. This is not a figure of speech. Experienced 
endocrinologists have found that endocrine upsets of long dura- 
tion are much more difficult to adjust than if attended to when 
they first occur. To the end of understanding the glands a little 
better, let us look into a few of the more common conditions or 
functions known to be associated with each one. 


The thyroid gland is a three-inch mass of purplish tissue lying 
just above the Adam's apple. It depends upon iodine for its proper 
function. Lacking sufficient iodine the thyroid swells up and 
leaves the individual with a goiterous lump in the neck which 
may be accompanied by a bulging of the eyes. This condition is 
corrected by taking additional iodine in the form of tablets and 
in the food. 

The chief work of the thyroid gland is to regulate the rate at 
which the body burns its food. The minimal rate of food burning, 
when absolutely no work is done, is spoken of as the based metab- 
olism. It might be termed the tempo of the body action. 

A serious lack of thyroid secretion in infancy, results in cre- 
tinism. The cretin is dwarfed mentally and physically. The face is 
flat, puffy, and wrinkled. The skin is dry and almost hairless. If 
thyroid feeding is begun early enough, the child who would 
ordinarily become a lusterless, under-developed imbecile can grow 
almost to normalcy in mental and physical features. 

Thyroid deficiency in adulthood causes myxedema. Such an 
individual becomes pudgy, listless, mentally retarded and will 
show signs of psychological disturbance. Thyroid gland treatment 
is highly successful in these cases. Professor George A. Dorsey 
relates that "the first myxedema patient to be treated, died in 1920 
after twenty-nine years of good health due to thyroid feeding.'* 

The Circus Giant and the Bearded Lady 175 

In the case of an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism), 
there is also a goiterous condition. This type is known as exoph- 
thalmic goiter. The disorder with its popping of the eyes and 
lumpy neck has been seen as a frequent result of severe shock and 
fear-effects among soldiers in battle. The condition is accompanied 
by the typical psychological symptoms of excessive thyroid secre- 
tion. The individual becomes restless, sleepless, excitable, and im- 
pulsive. There is a loss of weight, excessive perspiration, and hand 
tremors. But in this case the disorder is due to an abnormal secre- 
tion rather than simply an increased secretion. 

The hopped-up person and the sluggish character represent the 
two extremes of thyroid effects. Between these bounds are the 
normal personalities. Many writers have attempted to characterize 
personalities according to endocrine stimulation. Dr. Louis Berg 
discusses the extent to which the thyroid may dominate the per- 
sonality picture in a normal person. Here it is in his own words 
from his book, The Human Personality: 

"A slight excess of thyroid secretion may be considered favorable 
to an individual. It may produce a superior type who is above 
average intelligence, capable of reaching emotional and intellec- 
tual heights, alert, cheerful and bright-eyed, with good color in 
his cheeks, white teeth and moist and flushed skin. He will be 
high-strung, lean, temperamental; he will have a rapid pulse and 
will tend to develop heart and nervous disorders. If these indi- 
viduals press their luck too far, they 'burn-out.* Many artists, and 
poets, such as Keats and Shelley, who have evidenced intense 
sensitiveness have been thyroid-dominated." 

On the other side of the picture, Dr. Berg characterizes the sub- 
thyroid group. "We see them," he says, "as the stout, squat, dumpy 
or blocky people who are phlegmatic and good natured, disin- 
clined to worry, and who make the best of life as they find it. They 
reach no heights and plumb no depths; they are kind and well- 
intentioned, are good to their families and constitute the 'safe-and- 
sane' element of society. They take on weight easily and assume 

ij6 Psychology for the Millions 

responsibility without grumbling, often being known as the 'tired 
business man* type/* 

These characterizations are not scientific. They are unexperi- 
mental and rather speculative. I have quoted at length so that the 
reader might judge its plausibility for himself on the basis of the 
previous information in this book. I shall be more explicit on this 
subject of endocrine characterization after dealing with the other 


Shaped like a pear but the size of a seedless grape, the pituitary 
gland hangs by a stalk from the base of the brain. It fits into a 
saddle-like bony cup and is made up of two parts. The front, and 
more important portion, is termed the anterior pituitary. The rear 
section is appropriately named the posterior pituitary. For our 
purpose we may speak in general of the pituitary gland. 

The most spectacular function of the pituitary is its influence 
on the growth of your bony skeleton. Too much secretion from 
the anterior portion at an early age produces a giant. Too little 
secretion results in a symmetrical dwarf. These differ from the 
disproportioned thyroid dwarfs. In contrast to this, obesity due to 
a lack of pituitary is characterized by a deposit of fat around the 
waist, whereas obesity due to thyroid undersecretion, shows up 
in a person who is fat all over. This distinction can be more easily 
remembered by noting that pituitary obesity is similar to the 
middle-age spread that piles up around the abdomen and der- 

Oversecretion of anterior pituitary in adulthood causes a condi- 
tion of acromegdy. This is the glandular disorder that Abe Simon, 
the former prize-fighter, feared, and which caused him to quit 
the ring. Let us read his earthy description of this condition as he 
became familiar with it. 

"Another complication," writes Simon, "was the over-active 
pituitary gland. That dime-sized troublemaker was on the ram- 

The Circus Giant and the Bearded Lady 177 

page and refused to quiet down. This was not entirely a surprise, 
because several years ago a brilliant young doctor said: 

" 'Abe, you're going to grow bigger and bigger if that thing 
doesn't quiet down. Let's give a look.' 

"He X-rayed my head and the pituitary gland was twice normal 
size, and running like a pick-pocket. 

" Tour feet and hands will grow larger,' he told me, 'as acro- 
megaly sets in. Your jaw will grow massive. You'll never have a 
broken bone or a cracked tooth, but that pituitary is growing and 
there is no room for it to grow. You'd better do something.' " 

Abe Simon did do something. He sensibly quit the ring though 
it meant giving up $50,000 for that year. And X-ray treatments 
have successfully stopped the growth of his run-away pituitary. 

Sometimes acromegaly is accompanied by temperament changes 
such as irritability, absent-mindedness and sudden outbursts of 
anger. As in Simon's case the condition can be successfully treated 
if diagnosed early. The difficulty in early diagnosis is that the dis- 
order progresses slowly, usually beginning in the twenties and 
spreading over a period of many years. Abe Simon was fortunate 
this way because he took a shine to a nurse who knew about these 
things and, for safekeeping, he married the girl. 

The growth function of the pituitary is only one of its many 
vital influences. It is also the source of the essential secretions 
which stimulate the appearance of the secondary sex character- 
istics of the boy and girl when they reach puberty. A sluggish 

gland will cause a greatly undersexed male or female. 



In its normal function the pituitary secretes hormones that cause 
the monthly ripening and expulsion of an egg from the female 
ovary. When pregnancy ensues, the sex stimulating secretion is 
poured into the blood in such great quantities that it spills over 
into the urine. By using this fact we can test for pregnancy in a 
woman at very early stages of conception. The urine of the female 

ij8 Psychology for the Millions 

in question, is injected into an infantile mouse or the ear-vein of a 
rabbit. If the mouse or rabbit shows the signs of activity in its 
ovaries then the urine may be assumed to be that of a pregnant 
woman. This test is accurate in at least 98 percent of all cases. The 
test using the mouse is known as the Aschheim-Zondek reaction, 
after the two Berlin doctors who first discovered it. Dr. Aschheim 
is now deceased while Dr. Zondek has fled from Germany to a 
haven in Palestine. The rabbit version, which takes less time, is 
known as the Friedman test, after an American doctor by the 
same name. 

Disorder of the posterior pituitary is thought to be associated 
with diabetes insipidus. This condition is to be distinguished from 
the commonly known diabetes caused by a lack of insulin from 
the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. Diabetes insipidus is as 
yet an incurable chronic affliction that causes an individual tc 
pass a huge amount of water and drink an equally tremendous 
quantity of fluid. The insulin type of diabetes is a true endocrine 
gland disorder characterized by an inability of the body to burn 
fats and sugars. It is successfully treated by insulin injections. 

In addition to the above features, the pituitary holds wide sway 
in many directions. It secretes hormones which control the activity 
of the other glands. These are accordingly termed thyrotropic, 
adrenotropic, parathyrotropic, gonadotropic, and others. The pos- 
terior pituitary secretes a chemical, pitocin, that causes contraction 
of the uterus. It has been used to aid in expelling the child at the 
crucial time of labor. Another secretion, pitressin, acts very much 
like adrenalin. However, there is yet much to be learned about 
these and other functions of specific secretions from the pituitary 

In connection with the personality effects of the pituitary, Dr, 
Berg again offers a form of contemplative characterization. Read 
it with reserve. He says: "There are types in which the anterior 
pituitary gland is much more active than the other glands. It 
forms, when kept within bounds, the strongest, physically and 

The Circus Giant and the Bearded Lady 179 

mentally, of all personalities. Abraham Lincoln and Charlemagne, 
and probably the Imperial Prussian guards of Frederick the Great, 
were anterior pituitary-dominated individuals." 

This sort of speculation is almost as bad as the guesswork I in- 
dulged in with respect to Babe Didrikson. On second thought, it 
might be worse. More comment later. 


In lumping the discussion of the other glands it must not be 
thought that their influence is any the less significant. It is done 
for the sake of brevity. 

Complete removal of both adrenal glands causes death; so you 
see they are important. Seated like a "triangular cocked hat" on 
the kidneys, each adrenal gland is divided into an outer portion 
called the cortex, and an inner, the medulla. The function of the 
medulla part of the adrenal gland which secretes adrenalin, has 
been well covered in the chapter on emotions. A lack of secretion 
from the cortex results in Addison's Disease, named after Thomas 
Addison who first described it in 1855. In this ailment the sufferer 
becomes progressively weak and dehydrated, and his skin takes on 
a brownish-gray color. Before the use of cortical preparations the 
death rate from this disease was high; it is now somewhat reduced 
but the condition is not entirely removed. The role of sex precocity 
in connection with oversecretion from the cortex of the adrenal 
gland was previously indicated. 

In cases where the adrenal gland acts-up in adulthood there may 
be a reversion in sexual appearance known as pseudohermaphrodi- 
tism. This is a big word implying that the person looks like a "he" 
and a "she" all at once. Drs. Best and Taylor, in describing this 
condition, point out that "women who are subjects of this disease 
become mannish in appearance and disposition. The voice deepens, 
menstruation ceases, the breasts atrophy and hair may grow on 
the face, chest and limbs; homosexuality is a common feature." 

Very little is known about the pineal gland. The principal 

i8o , Psychology for the Millions 

knowledge about it is that a tumor of the gland has been asso- 
ciated in several cases with precocious sexual and intellectual 
development. In a child, the mental precociousness borders on 
genius. The sexual organs of such a child are fully developed with 
complete power for bearing children at the age of three or four. 
Thus far these unfortunates have in most cases died before reach- 
ing the teen age. 

An intensive research study recently reported by Drs. William 
Russel and Ernest Sachs of Washington University casts doubt on 
the long held concept that the pineal body is some form of en- 
docrine gland. They base their conclusions on the fact that pineal 
tumor in older patients showed no changes of a hormone secre- 
tion nature, and that other brain tumors have been accompanied 
by precocious sexual development. "The precociousness," say the 
doctors, "probably originates in the midbrain structures." 

The thymus gland, located in the chest, appears to operate in- 
versely with the activity of the sex glands. It is largest in the child 
at about the age of seven years. As sexual maturity progresses the 
thymus normally degenerates. In cases where the gland atrophies 
too early, sexual development has been seen to occur prematurely. 
In cases where the gland persists, sexual maturity has been seen 
to be delayed. In truth, however, very little is actually known about 
the function of the thymus. In fact, Drs. Banting and Best, in their 
textbook, The Physiological Basis of Medical Practice, state : "The 
great body of experimental work which has been carried out in the 
past in efforts to elucidate the functions of the thymus have yielded 
little evidence which would enable it to be classed definitely among 
the glands of internal secretion." 

Dr. Berg, on his part, chooses to ignore the information con- 
tained in this medical textbook of physiology and goes on to tell 
us in his chapter on "The Glandular Basis of Personality" that 
"certain individuals in early childhood manifest overaction of this 
gland and herald a thymic dominance later in life. Little Eva of 

The Circus Giant and the Bearded Lady 181 

Uncle Tom's Cabin was one. Children of this kind are delicate, 
satin-skinned, and angel-eyed the dream fulfillment of their 
mother and the despair and envy of the neighbors." And of Joe 
the Fat Boy in PicfytricJ^ Papers, Dr. Berg says: "It is certain 
that the somnolescence of individuals like 'Joe the Fat Boy' in 
Pic\wic\ Papers is related to hibernation; in both instances there 
is an underactivity of the pituitary." 

Dr. Berg arrives at this conclusion in his book The Human 
Personality after he quotes Dr. Louis Berman who "maintains 
that hibernation, or the winter sleep of animals and in isolated 
instances, of men is due to a periodic shrinking of the pituitary 
cells, which is a seasonal wave of inactivity." 


In view of the scientific purport of Dr. Berg's book, his charac- 
terizations of such unfounded personality tin-types associated with 
glandular function appear to be out of order. Consider, for ex- 
ample, his description of the thyroid-dominated person as "in- 
telligent, cheerful, bright-eyed, with color in his cheeks and white 
teeth." By this, Dr. Berg makes claim to knowledge that psy- 
chologists, doctors, dentists, and other research scientists are yet 
sweating to learn about. 

Science has no knowledge that thyroxin gives white teeth and 
cheerfulness. No one has ever shown that normal intelligence can 
be raised by taking doses of thyroxin. Yes, in a mentally and physi- 
cally retarded cretin, thyroid feeding will increase intelligence. 
So will vitamin B strengthen the intellectual and emotional weak- 
ness of a case of pellagra. But no amount of vitamin B can raise 
the intelligence of a normal person. I do not believe that Dr. Berg 
has any evidence to show that thyroid administration will raise 
normal intelligence. His reasoning by analogy, in this instance, 
is somewhat far-fetched. 

Equally poetic is Dr. Berg's connection between a lack of thyroid 

182 Psychology for the Millions 

and "kindness, goodness to one's family, and a safe-and-sane atti- 
tude." How does he know? Has it ever been indicated experi- 
mentally? Of course not. 

Characterizing "Joe the Fat Boy" in Pic1(wic\ Papers as a hiber- 
nating human with an underactive pituitary is again too specula- 
tive. That Joe's obesity is due to an underactive pituitary is prob- 
ably correct. Dr. Logan Clendenning should be credited with 
originally making this observation. But Dr. Berg's addition that 
"it is certain" that "Joe's somnolescence is related to hibernation" 
is an unsupported extension of scientific knowledge. 

To Professor George E. Johnson who has searched for the mech- 
anism at the basis of the phenomenon of hibernation for more 
than twenty-five years, the answer is still a mystery. He has ob- 
served thousands of animals and experimented with hundreds of 
them. In fact, in an exhaustive article in the Quarterly Review of 
Biology he has reviewed the work of more than one hundred of 
his fellow-biologists. French, Russian, German, Italian, and Amer- 
ican scientists have cut up and cut out the pituitary, adrenal, and 
thymus portions of the glands of hibernating animals. But still 
the animals hibernated. Despite his own labors and his review of 
all important experiments since 1837, Professor Johnson could not 
pin the cause of hibernation on any one gland or any other known 

In the face of these scientific facts, it appears to be unscientific 
for a doctor of medicine to make a diagnosis of "hibernation" in 
a fictional literary character. 

To describe such extravagant conjecture as is employed in typing 
people by their endocrines, one might borrow a turn from the 
Harvard professor of psychology, William James, who said: 
"Humbug is humbug, even though it bear the scientific name." 

Exaggerations and loose claims of this type have greatly re- 
tarded advancement in endocrine study as it relates to psychology. 

As long ago as 1925, when endocrinology was in its infancy, 
Dr. Louis Berman wrote a book, The Glands Regulating Per- 

The Circus Giant and the Bearded Lady 183 

tonality. According to this treatise, your every thought, act, or 
emotion had an endocrine basis. Moreover, Dr. Berman typed 
individuals according to the endocrine secretion that seemed to be 
dominant in their make-up. His book contained references to 
many popular figures. As such, the book had great public appeal. 
It was widely quoted by scientific writers desiring to attract the 
popular fancy. 

With but few exceptions, by 1930, men of science had voiced 
their disagreement with Dr. Berman's exaggerations in a hun- 
dred scientific treatises. Yet in 1933, when he wrote his own book, 
this is the same book and author quoted at length by Louis Berg 
a medical doctor and a practicing psychiatrist. 

The viewpoint of Dr. Logan Clendenning as expressed in his 
book, The Human Eody, is representative of the opinion held by 
scientists as regards the theories of Dr. Berrnan. Discussing the 
role of the endocrine glands in general, Dr. Clendenning writes: 
"The whole subject of their activities is so interesting, so many 
experiments have been performed, and so many of these are so 
bizarre, that the most unrestricted imaginative speculation has 
been indulged concerning them. Much of this, both that intended 
for layman and that intended for physician, is put forward with 
the solemn appearance of fact. Actually, it is pure arm-chair specu- 
lation. I refer to one notable example, a volume entitled The 
Glands Regulating Personality, by Louis Berman. Here we are 
told with the most solemn appearance of authority that Napoleon 
was a 'pituitary type/ and other famous characters are similarly 

"Now, of course, all such stuff is pure imaginative speculation. 
It has the same claim to scientific exactness as Keats' statement 
that truth is beauty and that is all men need to know upon this 
earth. It is arguable, I admit, but in order to grace such books 
with the appearance of verisimilitude, in order to remove their 
disguise of scientific authority, they should be put in rhymed 

184 Psychology for the Millions 

Oddly enough, Dr. Berg, who quoted extensively and accept- 
ingly the writings of Louis Bcrman, expresses criticism against 
unfounded claims made by endocrinologists. In the very last sen- 
tence of his chapter on "The Glandular Basis of Personality" he 
says, "When we learn more about these arbiters of our destinies 
. . . then we may be able to bring about the miracles that the 
high priests of endocrinology prematurely claim are already pos- 

Dr. Berg is not being facetious! It is difficult to believe that Dr. 
Berg's medical mind, keen enough to absorb the"circle of sciences" 
required to pass through a medical college, should fail to sec the 
paradox between his critical opinions and his positive descriptions. 
But there it is, down on paper. Such are the foibles of the human 

Does this image-breaking mean to imply that the relationship 
between personality and endocrine function is non-existent? No. 
As has been indicated throughout this chapter, the endocrine 
glands pour a liquid base for the personality picture. The variegated 
environment of family, friends, books, school, locality, church, etc., 
stirs the liquid into the many forms that any personality assumes. 

The nature of the glands might be thought of as an hereditary 
element in the personality make-up. Their influence partially ac- 
counts for personality difference? seen in infants while they are 
yet in the cradle. The environment, on the other hand, is the civil- 
izing influence on the ab-original traits of the newborn barbarian. 

Having indicated the unscientific nature of typing personalities 
by endocrine functions, we shall next turn our attention to a va- 
riety of attempts to type personalities by physique, body fluids, 
color of hair, racial blood, the shape of the lips, and sundry other 

ojrotti C/touv&ooo io \^\t\> v^o 




UST as the Hollywood actor refuses to be "typed," so too, 
people in general have foiled many attempts to put them in pigeon- 

Hippocrates, the great Greek physician, after whom the modern 
doctor's Hippocratic Oath is named, offered up a system of per- 
sonality classification that smacks of the endocrine typing idea de- 
scribed in the previous chapter. According to his beliefs, person- 
ality was determined by the presence of fluids circulating in the 
body and designated as blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm, 
People were described as either sanguine, choleric, melancholic, 
or phlegmatic, according to which of the fluids dominated within 

These temperament descriptions have come down from an- 
tiquity and are used as trait names to this day. The sanguine type, 
due to an excess of blood, was described as active and lithe but lack- 
ing strength and endurance. The choleric, resulting from abun- 
dant yellow bile, was easy to anger and quite strong. The melan- 
cholic, due to black bile oversecretion, was characteristically slow 
and pessimistic. The phlegmatic type, usurped by phlegm, was 
slow, stodgy and weak. Normal personality was supposed to result 
from a balance of all the humours, as the fluids were called. 

i86 Psychology for the Millions 

This antique theory of body-humours linked to temperament 
was never shown to have any scientific basis. Its resemblance to 
the modern endocrine gland theory of personality types is lyrically 
reminiscent. Both the flavor and rhyme seem to linger on. Neither 
flavor nor rhyme has been proved or improved by psychology 
composed in an arm-chair. 


Closely related to glandular typing of personality is the attempt 
to associate personality types with physique or body-build. A study 
that has received wide publicity and which is referred to in almost 
every technical book on psychology is the work of Dr. Ernst 
Kretschmer on Physique and Character. This Austrian psychia- 
trist quoted Shakespeare's lines from Julius Caesar in which 
Caesar says: 

Let me have men about me that are fat; 
Slee^-headed men, and such as sleep o nights: 
Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry loo\; 
He things too much: such men are dangerous. 

Would he were fatter! 

In Shakespeare's oft quoted lines we see the Hollywood idea 
of the good natured fat man who acts as the stooge while the lean 
and hungry type is portrayed as the shrewd character. Basil Rath- 
bone as Sherlock Holmes typifies Cassius, while Nigel Bruce, who 
plays the role of Watson, personifies the rotund, well-meaning 

Dr. Kretschmer didn't go to Hollywood for his types, nor did 
he go to the people in general. He selected his personalities from 
the institution for the insane. He described two main types of 
body build; the heavy-set, he called pyfyiic; and the long slender, 
he termed leptosome. Such groupings of persons on the basis of 
body structure or morphology, as it is called, was not new. 

From Hollywood to City College 187 

Twenty-three hundred years ago Hippocrates defined two types 
similar to Kretschmer's that he called "habitus phthisicus" and 
"habitus apoplecticus." The first was supposed to be prone to tuber- 
culosis and the second to brain hemorrhage or apoplexy. This idea 
of body types did not die with Hippocrates. In the lyoo's De Hal- 
ler in Germany described a "thin type," a "thick type," and an 
"athletic type." In the late ipoo's an Italian by the name of Di 
Giovanni reawakened the body type idea with the terms "phthisic" 
and "plethoric." Then a Boston doctor published a paper on the 
"meat-eating" and "vegetable eating" types in man. Today, Dr. 
George Draper and his associates in New York are attempting to 
distinguish body types between patients that come down with 
"gall bladder" disorders as against those who get "ulcers." 

From this very sketchy history it is obvious that Dr. Kretschmer's 
idea of body build types was neither original nor novel. His terms 
of "pyknic" and "leptosome" added to a bad enough collection 
that included such profundities as "microsplanchnic" "macros- 
keletal" and "xantodermic." This collection of confusing verbiage 
is the sort of thing that the former Texas Congressman, Maury 
Maverick, recently complained about as characterizing govern- 
ment pamphlets. He calls it "the curse of gobbledygook." Can it 
be that scientists as well as politicians have something to hide from 
the common people ? 

To Dr. Kretschmer's credit, let it be said that the terms "pyknic" 
and "leptosome" are at least easy to pronounce. 


The pyknic is described by Dr. Kretschmer as the heavy-set, 
stocky, John Bull type. He has a barrel chest, round face, and heavy 
neck. We might take Mickey Rooney, Wallace Beery, or Joseph 
Stalin as examples of the pyknic type. On the distaff side, Mae 
West or Sophie Tucker might be characterized by Kretschmer as 
pyknic types. 

The leptosome is the opposite type. He has a long, flat chest and 

1 88 Psychology for the Millions 

a slender, wiry body. His arms and legs are long and thin. His pro- 
file is angular and his face is oval. He is rather like the tall, gaunt 
Uncle Sam type. Boris Karloff or Basil Rathbone could serve as 
leptosome prototypes as described by Kretschmer. Eleanor Roose- 
velt and Joan Davis would be illustrative of the feminine stature 
in this group. 

Between the pyknic and leptosome is the athletic type. He is 
neither barrel chested nor thin. His bones and muscles are rather 
heavy, the shoulders are wide and taper down to narrow hips. He 
is not necessarily athletic in aptitude although his build is supposed 
to represent the Greek ideal of sculptural beauty. Johnny Weis- 
muller, Gary Cooper, or Sammy Baugh could be models of this 
class. For the ladies, Ann Sheridan, Dorothy Lamour, Ingrid Berg- 
man, Paulette Goddard and Venus de Milo would be representa- 

A final group was termed dysplastic. As the name implies their 
build is unsymmetrical. They show features that seem to be un- 
matched, such as long arms and short body, or barrel chest and 
long thin legs. Into this group would go all who did not classify 
as either pyknic, leptosome, or athletic. I don't dare give any real 
life examples of this type, although a certain home run hitter did 
have exceptionally thin legs. 


After classifying 260 abnormal patients into these four groups 
on the basis of physique, Dr. Kretschmer correlated the body build 
classes with their previously diagnosed mental disorder. He 
claimed to have found a significant relationship between the phy- 
sique and the type of mental disorder. In general he stated that 
the pyknics made up the manic depressive group, while the lep- 
tosomes and athletics were schizophrenics. More specifically these 
were his findings: 

Out of 85 manic depressives, 58 were pyknics. 

Among 175 schizophrenics, 81 were leptosomes. 

From Hollywood to City College 189 

In a group of 34 athletics, 31 were schizophrenics. 

All of the 34 dysplastics were schizophrenics. 

Dr. Kretschmer concluded from these results that by and large 
the stocky pyknic who becomes mentally ill will succumb to the 
circular insanity of moods described as "manic depressive." The 
slender leptosome type who becomes mentally ill will be inclined 
toward the shut-in personality characterizing the "schizophrenic,"* 

Carrying his theory to normal persons the Austrian psychiatrist 
described two parallel classes that he called cyclothymes and 
schizothymes. The first type was described as inclined toward 
cheerfulness, instability of moods, sociability, hastiness, and good 
naturedness. The schizothymes were supposed to be characterized 
as reserved, sensitive, fond of books, humorless, kindly, honest, 
and untalkative. According to Kretschmer's conclusions, the 
pyknics are for the most part cyclothymes, and the leptosomes are 

So there came to pass in many minds, the idea that certain 
physiques are associated with a type of personality and a type of 

These conclusions made a nicely fitting, simple picture. Too 
simple in fact. If you consider the various weak elements of the 
study you have to doubt the conclusions. A glance at the results 
shows that the overlapping in the body-type groups is very great. 
If you submit the figures to a statistical test, the conclusions are not 
statistically significant. As Professor Laurance Shaffer points out, 
"When exact body measurements are used instead of general im- 
pressions (as did Dr. Kretschmer), the differences become even 
smaller." Professor Kimball Young characterizes Dr. Kretsch- 
mer's classification techniques as "rough-and-ready measure- 
ments." Add to this the fact that psychiatric diagnosis of mental 
patients was and is avowedly unstable, and you have a cause for 

*The reader will find a detailed description of these and other common mental ab- 
normalities in Chapter 13. 

190 Psychology for the Millions 

Making a study of abnormal persons and theorizing that it 
would apply to normals is a gap that Dr. Kretschmer's results have 
never been able to bridge. Research by others with normal per- 
sons failed to disclose any real relationship between personality 
types and body-build. 

Working with college students, Professor Richard Husband re- 
ported that his results did not bear out those of Dr. Kretschmer. 
Messrs. Klineberg, Asch and Block concluded that the physical- 
mental types of Kretschmer could not be substantiated. In a de- 
tailed and thorough examination of this very question, P. S. de 
Q. Cabot in his doctoral dissertation recently tested the validity of 
the body-build theory. In his conclusions Dr. de Q. Cabot states: 
"On the whole there was little specific evidence to support Dr. 

In view of these facts, it is a never ending source of amazement 
that since 1925 Dr. Kretschmer's erroneous theory has become 
rather wide-spread, that it has been quoted authoritatively in high 
places, and that it has been applied by many psychiatrists. To this 
day you will see quoted in the Psychiatric Research Quarterly de- 
scriptions of "a manic depressive patient with pyknic stature." 

Like many another unsubstantiated theory that caught the 
popular eye, Dr. Kretschmer's theories of related physique and 
personality type have failed to withstand the acid test of scientific, 
psychological checks. It is unfortunate that his ideas were re- 
peated in so many textbooks. I can see how such an unproven 
theory can in time wield a subtle influence as to give it an appear- 
ance of validity. That is, if enough psychiatrists think in terms of 
Kretschmer's linkage of body-build with a type of mental ab- 
normality, they may permit it to influence their diagnosis. In so 
doing they will shortly have all the long slender leptosomes and 
stocky pyknics diagnosed respectively as schizophrenics and manic 

Dr. Kretschmer's classifications were so "rough and ready" that 
when Dr. William H. Sheldon attempted to classify 400 University 

brom Hollywood to Ctty College 191 

of Chicago students by Kretschmer's three-fold system he could 
only fit in 112 of his college men and had 288 left over as mixtures. 
The Chicago University instructor concluded that the attempt to 
classify human physiques into three types "was comparable to try- 
ing to build a language with three adjectives." 

Dr. Sheldon continued his own studies at Harvard and has de- 
vised efficient and scientific methods for measuring body-builds. 
In brief, he has concluded from his detailed studies that human 
physiques do not fall into neat classes. He holds that the many 
parts of the body's shape and proportions must be described on a 
scale from one extreme to another. "We do not find types of 
physiques/' explains Dr. Sheldon, "but a continuous intermixture 
of elemental body parts." 

If we can now get Hollywood to cooperate, we should be ready 
to correct the erroneous, popular notion that short people are ag- 
gressive, slender people are sissified, and that fat persons are good- 

Now body-build or structure is a result of glandular, nutritional, 
and physiological functions. And it is true that glands, nutrition, 
and body function effect personality. Why then do we not find a 
significant correlation between body-build and personality types ? 

To answer by saying that the whole personality is not identical 
to the sum of its parts would be begging the question. Nor does 
the answer lie in faulty statistics or methods, as one might think. 
The statistical results that showed a definite lack of correlation be- 
tween body types and temperament types strike me as showing the 
true state of affairs. The answer, to my way of thinking, resides in 
the fact that, the relationship between body-build and personality 
is an indiwdud and highly variable matter. Being fat or skinny, 
tall or short, effects different people differently. Tallness may 
cause one youngster to feel superior while it may create a feeling 
of self-conscious inferiority in another. Tallness in a male may be 
a social advantage; in a female it may make of her a wall-flower. 

From these observations we arrive at our paradox. Personality, 

192 Psychology for the Millions 

in any individual is doubtlessly related to the nature of hh 
physique or body structure. Personality, among groups of people 
appears to be unrelated to types of body-build. 


This idea of trying to find a valid linkage between personality 
traits and physical or constitutional factors has more than a Holly- 
wood interest. It has several practical aims. Psychologically, if a 
general relationship between personality and physical features are 
found, it would enable us to choose certain personality types for 
specific jobs more easily and accurately. Imagine how much more 
simple it would be to pick good salesmen if we knew that broad 
shoulders were associated with reliability and sociability. The de- 
partment-store personnel-director would need only a tape measure 
instead of the many mazes, picture blots, peg boards, and paper 
tests he now uses. 

In medicine it is hoped that a knowledge of the personal quali- 
ties associated with physical types will give advance information 
as to the mental and physical stresses to which a certain type of 
individual is most likely to succumb. Knowing this, the doctor and 
psychological counselor would be aided in diagnosis and prog- 
nosis. Thus the great physician, Sir William Osier was led to re- 
mark that, "it is more important to know what sort of patient has 
a disease than to know what sort of disease a patient has." 

Recently Dr. Franz J. Kallman claimed to have found heredi- 
tary, bodily links between schizophrenic patients and the type of 
persons who get tuberculosis. He has awakened a heated contro- 
versy in the field of mental study with his theory that the he- 
reditary traits he believes to be associated with a tendency to 
schizophrenia, are similar to those associated with tuberculosis. 
Dr. Kallman's work at the New York State Psychiatric Institute 
is a creditable piece of research, but his conclusions must yet be 
regarded as theories until the medical or psychological professions 
can experimentally confirm or deny his ideas. 

From Hollywood to City College 193 

Thus far, no one has been able to put forth any reliable evidence 
for gaging personality or temperament through body-build. But if 
you review the popular notions about personality traits and the 
body beautiful, or otherwise, one gets the impression that per- 
sonality can rightly be judged by a multitude of physical traits. 
Nothing could be further from scientific truth. 


As we rip our friends up the back in daily conversation, we 
think and speak of "the good-natured fat slob," "the skinny weasel/* 
"the chunky little scrapper," "the red-headed firebrand," "the 
dumb-looking blond" and the "swarthy faced crook." "Just to 
look at the guy, I wouldn't trust him as far as you can push a 
house," is somebody's favorite expression. As Dr. Haggard points 
out in his Anatomy of Personality, caricaturists draw racial types 
that we immediately associate with racial temperaments. We sec 
John Bull drawn as the stocky, muscular, Churchill-like, bluff and 
hearty type. "Uncle Sam is tall and angular, shrewdly calculating, 
not a good mixer." When there is no war in the offing, Fritz the 
German is illustrated as a genial, rotund beer drinking human. 
The Dane is shown as a tall, lean, self-centered, melancholy indi- 
vidual. The blond Swede is portrayed as a wiry, well muscled, stoic 
character. The dark-haired Italian is pictured as a voluble, demon- 
strative easy-to-please neighbor. 

Other examples of generalized characterizations give the im- 
pression that all Russians have bushy hair and wear lumberjacks, 
that Englishmen lack a sense of humor, and that all Frenchmen 
are great lovers. More recently we saw an article titled, Latins Are 
Lousy Lovers. These are of course unwarranted generalizations, 
but they do make enjoyable reading. 

In popular parlance we speak of "a kindly face," "a villainous 
face," "a sourpuss," "an intelligent look," "a moody face," and 
"a determined face." If by these descriptions we mean that the 
individual habitually assumes one or more characteristic facial ex- 

194 Psychology -for the Millions 

pressions, then the description may be accurate. And there are 
many psychological experiments that cast doubt on our ability to 
read correctly an emotion as it appears in a facial expression. How- 
ever, if by these phrases one implies a personality characterization 
inherent in the face then we must say that it is just as likely to be 
wrong as right. Scientifically, no such association for large groups 
has ever been shown to exist. 


Judging personality from facial appearance used to pass as the 
"science" of physiognomy. A few left-overs of this nineteenth cen- 
tury belief is the notion that the high forehead represents intelli- 
gence; the square jaw shows determination; spaced teeth indicate 
passion; bushy eyebrows denote villainy; beauty implies stupidity; 
and a finely chiseled nose shows refinement. Our daily newspapers 
contain want-ads requesting applicants to enclose a photograph of 
themselves. Often this is just a subtle means to determine whether 
the prospective employee is white or black. But just as often the 
employer is suffering under the delusion that he can judge per- 
sonality from the photograph. This is pure poppycock, as is the 
idea of high foreheads linked to intelligence, a square jaw to de- 
termination, or beauty to a lack of brains. 

I could include here a photo of a Murderer, a Farmer, a Schizo- 
phrenic, a Storekeeper, a Moron, a Bank president, a Homosexual, 
a College president, a Manic depressive, and a Reporter and ask 
you merely to separate the abnormal personalities from the nor- 
mal. Actual psychological experiments have shown that your selec- 
tions would be no better than a guess. You would do equally well 
if asked to select the abnormal personalities from their first names, 
John, Jack, and Joe. 

Closely related to personality and facial appearance is the at- 
tempt to judge intelligence from looks. We may pass this idea over 
quickly with the statement that many classroom studies in a variety 
of colleges have shown that it can't be done by that sort of guess- 

From Hollywood to City College 195 

work. Such well known psychologists as Rudolph Pintner, H. L. 
Hollingworth, P. C Gaskill and J. P. Porter have shown that 
neither college students, psychologists, nor business people were 
able to pick out the morons from the normals and gifted by merely 
viewing their faces. Hereafter reserve your judgment when you 
think you see a "dumb looking Dora" or "an intelligent looking" 
confrere. In a subsequent chapter we shall discuss more reliable 
ways of gaging intelligence. 

An attempt at personality characterization by physical appear- 
ance which is more interesting than some of the above but also 
more groundless, is one based on the shape of the lips. According 
to the young lady who made this contribution there were, I think, 
seven categories. The cupid-bow shape was supposed to denote a 
passionate personality, well shaped full lips indicated generosity, 
narrow, thin lips showed coldness, thick lips sensuousness, and so 
on. There was of course no scientific evidence supporting her 
personality types selected by the shape of their lips. Even more 
useful than these seven classes of lips is the Esquire article delineat- 
ing the seven characteristic, male types of approaches to the female, 
titled, The Wench Is Not Amused. 

Although many of these ideas of physical characterization are 
popularly accepted and are very much in literary vogue, they are 
valueless as true indicators of personality. They are in the same 
class as trying to read character or personality from the bumps on 
the head or the palm of the hand. The former might be called 
"bumpistry," as the latter is termed "palmistry." But, because a 
once famous anatomist was interested in reading cranial bumps, 
it has been graced with the name, phrenology. Anyone who sub- 
mits to either of these systems or astrology, or handwriting analy- 
sis, or any form of fortune-telling bears out Texas Guinan and 
P. T. Barnum's famous philosophy of "a sucker born every min- 
ute." As Professor Joseph Jastrow points out, "even gypsies don't 
read each other's fortunes." 

To be completely and entertainingly enlightened on the multi- 

196 Psychology for the Millions 

farious ways in which Barnum's audience was, and still is, in- 
duced to spend annually about a hundred million dollars on this 
sort of quackery, you have but to read Psychological Racketeers. In 
this little volume the teacher-author, Dorothy H. Yates, takes her 
students and the reader on visits to a variety of these purveyors of 
psychological hokum. 

Judgment of personality traits by the glint in a man's eye, the 
shape of his fingers, the squareness of his jaw, the tilt of his nose, 
and the color of his hair are popular notions that are psychologi- 
cally untrue. None of them can stand up under the truth-seeking 
of an objective examination. 

Mind you, scientific psychology hasn't said, "No," to these popu- 
lar beliefs without a fair trial. Cupid-bow lips and turned-up noses 
are not the most fragmentary traits that psychologists have tested 
out. They have searchingly probed an unbelievable variety of sig- 
nificant and insignificant, and bodily and spiritual traits presumed 
to have any relationship to human behavior. 


As far back as 1919, Professor Donald G. Paterson and his col- 
league, Miss K. F. Ludgate, at Minnesota University checked the 
claims of one Katherine M. Blackford, M. D., that there were dis- 
cernible, personality differences between blondes and brunettes. 
Regardless of anyone's personal experiences with blondes, sober 
psychological examination failed to show that honest-to-goodness 
blondes were any more dynamic, optimistic, and speculative, or 
any less dependable and serious minded than their rival brunettes. 

Other psychologists have checked blood pressure, body tempera- 
tures, blood types, color of eyes, and even fingerprints against per- 
sonality. None showed any appreciable relationship. Even the 
American Red Cross finally agreed that Negro blood plasma 
would save white men's lives. The idea that Latin or French pas- 
sion is more "hot-blooded" is just an idea. 

One should not be surprised at the seemingly far-fetched 

From Hollywood to City College 197 

items such as fingerprints versus personality, on which psycholo- 
gists have to conduct researches. Someone, like Dr. Blackf ord with 
her blonde-brunette theory, is always seeking the limelight with 
a theme of popular appeal. Here's an example, 1944 style, by a 
glamour seeking psychologist that Daily News columnist Ed 
Sullivan felt impelled to squelch. 


Remarking that war-conscious 1944 was witnessing an un- 
equaled historical hysteria which he characterized by Jimmy 
Durante's line, "Everyone wants to git into the act," news colum- 
nist Ed Sullivan reproached a psychologist for his analysis of the 
Presidential candidates from their eating habits. We quote Mr. 
Sullivan: "Dr. Ernest Ditcher, described as a research psychologist 
for CBS, declares ponderously that Roosevelt's fondness for sur- 
prise dishes, such as hash and croquettes, indicates he has courage, 
vision and originality while Dewey's penchant for chicken, cal> 
bage, carrots, reveals he is realistic! . . . Nerts." 


Analyses of politicians are not the only ones made by grand- 
stand experts. With the current emphasis on hay fever and related 
allergies, the swivel-chair theorists have reawakened the bugaboo 
that people with allergies have especially neurotic personalities. 
Were this true, half the population would have to be considered 
as having this so-called special neurotic personality attached to al- 
lergies. Investigation by Dr. Warren T. Vaughan and others has 
reliably indicated that fully fifty percent of the American popu- 
lation is allergic to one or more substances. 

Despite this fact, a recent Associated Press article including this 
writer's name gives an opinionated personality analysis of people 
with hay fever which states : "This personality of hay fever was de- 
scribed further by Dr. John Stokes of Philadelphia, as a person 

1 98 Psychology for the Millions 

with feelings of insecurity and inferiority, driving energy, refusal 
to compromise, higher than average intelligence, and continual 


To such an analysis, people with hay fever who know better 
might be inclined to say, . . . "Nerts." 

Immediately following the description by Dr. Stokes the news- 
paper article adds: "Dr. Sperling, however [that's me], finds no 
evidence for a hay fever personality. His studies were made on 
985 City College of New York students, 231 of them with hay 

I might add that the study compared the two groups with re- 
spect to "feelings of insecurity," "inferiority" and "emotional sta- 
bility," the very personality trait differences that Dr. Stokes opin- 
ionatcs about. Yet objective tests failed to show any differences. 


A sphere of personality painting that comes in for more than its 
share of surface guesswork, is the matter of racial characteristics. 
This is an area in which pride and prejudice, nationalism, pro- 
vincialism, and fanaticism wield a loose tongue with poisonous 
fangs. The Hitler phantasy of the superior Aryan is as weird as 
his scapegoating of the Jews. 

Innate physical differences between races exist, of course, but 
social and personality trait differences are largely due to varying 
customs and environments rather than inborn racial aspects. As 
Professor Willard Valentine says : "If we could get rid of the physi- 
cal and environmental traits it is doubtful if there would be any- 
thing left to set a Chinaman off from an Englishman or a Hindu 
from an Italian." 

Typical examples of the common turn of mind about inherent 
racial differences are the narrow-minded generalizations con- 
tained in the invectives used when the lid is off. Among others, 
bar-room favorites include: "dumb Irish," "tight Scotchman," 
"cheap Jew," "mad Russian," "greasy Italian," and "sexy French- 

From Hollywood to City College 199 

man." These represent baseless vulgarities, the frequent repetition 
of which shows a tendency toward ignorant generalizations. 

This common turn of mind about inherent racial differences is 
one we can well forsake. Especially so in the United States where 
the environment has been uniform enough to be in reality the pro- 
verbial melting pot. Like most ideas based on prejudice, racial 
differences in personality are found wanting when put to objective 

In the well known study by Dr. Otto Klineberg seven racial 
groups in central and western Europe were compared. To rule out 
the effects of environment some of the population were taken 
from France, some from Germany and some from Italy. The re- 
sults showed that "consistent racial differences failed to appear." 

In a recent study by this writer on "Personality Differences Be- 
tween Jews and Non-Jews" reported in the Journal of Applied 
Psychology, the oft expressed theory that Jews are more high- 
strung or emotionally unstable was not borne out. In fact, out of 
sixteen personality traits on which the groups were compared 
there was a reliable difference in only two. The non-Jews were 
more religious-minded while the Jews were shown to be more 
liberal-minded. The differences are obviously environmental 
rather than inherently racial. 

These results are in keeping with an older investigation by the 
eminent Columbia University psychologist, H. E. Garrett, who 
prefaces his article with the remark that, "A few definite facts 
about Jews, Italians and English are more illuminating than hun- 
dreds of opinions." 

Our brief discussion of personality traits and racial differences 
has seemingly taken us away from the main thought that you 
can't judge personality by appearances. In truth it is not really oft 
the topic. We do have a tendency to associate personal qualities 
with racial types. And we judge these types by physical appear- 
ances. Some of our best friends will anxiously ask, "I don't look 
Jewish, do I ?" They know that looking Jewish attracts some of 

200 Psychology for the Millions 

the negative judgments that the propagandized bigot is willing to 
associate with a long nose. 

"A few definite facts about Jews, Italians and English" are in- 
deed illuminating. They are eye-openers, and having one's eyes 
opened should serve to broaden the mind. Equally mind-broaden- 
ing is the evidence we have accumulated to show that you cannot 
reliably judge personality by physique, facial appearance, physical 
traits, or a man's ancestry. This teaches an important lesson. That 
is, appearances are deceiving. 

Applied to personality judgment, we may modify a well known 
proverb: All that glitters is not gold, and vice versa. Then there's 
the one about "judging a book by its cover." 

Psychology's denial of the correctness of judging personality by 
a multitude of commonly used traitsWhat does it mean ? Can 
a world of average people be so far off the scientific path ? Can so 
many of the common people be so wrong? Did anyone hear a 
small voice fay, "Yes"? Not in a book meant to be sold to the 

Sophistry aside, why should we be so wrong in judging per- 
sonalities by the very traits that we know to be an integral part of 
that personality ? Beauty, stature, the look on your face, the cut of 
youjr clothes, the knot in your tie, the shine on your shoes; there's 
no denying that these reflect themselves in your personality. But 
lo! they are reflected in your personality in the manner that you 
have cultivated them and not as they appear in anyone else's. These 
cues are revealing only so far as they apply to you as an individual. 
"What's one man's meat . . ." and "On you it's becoming" are 
familiar truisms. 

Good looks in your hands may become a thing of charm. Good 
looks in the face of another becomes a source of conceit. A drawn 
haggard look on your face might mean long hours of work on 
a creative piece about which you are inwardly happy. The same 
drawn appearance on your neighbor's face may denote pain re- 
sulting from a long-standing illness. 

from Hollywood to City College 201 

One youngster wears a bow tie to attract attention; another lad 
wears it because that's the only kind his father has; and a third 
wears a bow tie in emulation of his sports hero. 

The sweater girl style comes into vogue with the revealing sex: 
Marie wears a sweater because she "just loves Lana Turner"; 
Helen wears one because she "loves that schoolgirl appearance"; 
and Margaret wears sweaters because the boys love it. 

It is obvious that we cannot place a personality judgment on a 
type of facial appearance, or a manner of dress for any group of 

In short, all the things that you think reveal personality, prob- 
ably do reveal personality, but not according to any uniform sys- 
tem. This accounts for the fact that none of the traits examined 
showed any consistent relationship to personality. 

Since personal analysis of friends, family, and acquaintances is 
one of the most universal indoor sports, it is only sporting that we 
abide by standardized rules. One of the first rules of this game is 
to avoid judging your victim by first impressions. These are of 
necessity based or> appearances, the true nature of which are well 
disguised. The weapons that the modern woman can use to put 
herself across, including as it does super girdles, acrylic false 
teeth, uplift brassieres, and the Du Barry charm course mata it 
difficult to judge the female by her exterior. The sought-after male 
with too many comforts and a premature middle-age middle can't 
be judged by his swivel-chair exterior. So, to get at the true nature 
you must wait to see the mental interior in action. 

This mental interior does not refer to intelligence as such, but 
rather to personal motives. The study of motives is the key to the 
formation of personality. It means learning why and how we be- 
have in a certain way at a certain time. Or in other words, why 
men leave home? why cranks are cranks? how men become 
bachelors ? and why a woman scorned is a woman scorned. 

Enlightenment on motives will comprise the contents of the 
following chapter. In the remaining pages of this chapter we shall 

202 Psychology for the Millions 

review a few interesting psychological tableaus in our quest for 
understanding personality in action. 


Having put the skids under the ideas of typing personalities 
by physique, color of hair, facial appearance, racial ancestry, and 
the shape of the lips, science must answer certain puzzling ques- 
tions that are bound to arise: What about Shakespeare's general- 
ization on fat men and lean men? Sixteenth century William 
took no courses in psychology, but he knew his Portia. What 
about beauty and brains and personality ? How do they tie-in if 
at all ? What about the Greek idea of a sound mind in a sound 
body? Surely these age-old concepts are not entirely literary 
imaginations. They must have had some basis in fact and observa- 

There are indeed general relationships between physique, phys- 
ical appearances and personality traits. The relation seems to be 
reciprocal. And it is reciprocal in more ways than one. First, we 
know that the physical has an effect upon the mental and vice 
versa. Secondly, your biological make-up interacts with your en- 
vironment to produce an effect upon your personality and vice 

As an example of the first case, we know that pellagra, myx- 
edema, and paresis are physical diseases which produce radical 
mental changes. In contrast, an extended or intensive experience 
of mental fear, or inhibition, is known to produce a physical 
change such as a thyroid enlargement, a skin rash, hysterical blind- 
ness, or paralysis of a limb. 

The second case, of physical traits reciprocally interacting with 
the environment to effect personality, is a little more subtle to 
observe. As an example, let us suppose that you bring a high I.Q. 
and a weak body into a retarded, Kentucky hill community of 
strong-backed, unintelligent mountaineers. Your high LQ. shows 

From Hollywood to City College 203 

you how to change some of their crude, laborious methods of tot- 
ing water, bricks, logs, and food. But your intellect also tells you 
that you can't convert these people overnight. So you strengthen 
your back while marking time with their crudities. When you 
try to introduce changes the Kentuckians show antagonism to- 
ward you and your ideas. A state of unrest arises. You may for a 
time become quite unhappy, and the serenity of the mountaineers 
may also be disturbed because of the doubts you have raised in 
their minds. Here is reciprocal interaction of your make-up with 
the environment, producing changes in both your personality and 
the environment. 

It is interesting to note that as an outcome of his scientific inves- 
tigation on The Relationship Between Characteristics of Person- 
ality and Physique in Adolescence, Dr. de Q. Cabot postulates 
that a certain stature gives a "socio-biological advantage." He 
reaches this conclusion from the fact that his group with the 
"athletosomic body-build" is characterized by personality traits of 
"high social value." He points out that this physique is best, since 
it is socially most desirable and most resistant to the stresses and 
strains of living. Indeed it is. Who wouldn't agree that Rita Hay- 
worth, Lana Turner, and Johnny Weismuller have a social advan- 
tage because of their biological, body-beautiful ? 

By personality diagnoses Dr. de Q. Cabot's group with the 
athletic build was shown to be more ascendant, extroverted, re- 
sponsible, influential and to have greater leadership qualities than 
those with the short-stocky or tall-slender stature. Putting two 
and two together, he figured that the athletic physique creates a 
happy cycle in which a favorable constitution makes for a success- 
ful bout with one's surroundings, and results in a socially ap- 
proved personality. This is what he means by a "socio-biological 

This association between what one looks-like and feels-like, is 
undoubtedly real. Hollywood producer Cecile B. De Mille, known 
for his elaborately detailed and realistic staging, uses this knowl- 

204 Psychology for the Millions 

edge of looks affecting feeling as a trick of his trade. Once he 
spent $1500 for a chinchilla-trimmed nightgown that Gloria 
Swanson merely dragged across the floor in a brief scene. Another 
time he ordered fifteen yards of royal brocade at $200 a yard. 
When asked how the movie audience would know whether it 
was real brocade or a $2 substitute, De Mille replied: "They won't 
know. But my actresses will. Can you imagine a woman wearing 
$3000 worth of brocade and not giving her best performance ?" 

The interplay between appearance and personality as a scien- 
tific viewpoint is aptly given by Professor Laurance Shaffer in his 
textbook, The Psychology of Adjustment. In concluding his dis- 
cussion on the subject of physique and personality Professor Shaf- 
fer whimsically says: "Perhaps all that is of value in the theories 
of physical habitus is adequately summarized in the old humor- 
ous statement that a fat boy has to be good-natured because he 
can't fight and he can't run." 

In this opinion, there is expressed the thought which coincides 
with Dr. de Q. Cabot's idea of stature as producing a combined 
social-biological influence on personality. In other words, if a 
group of tall men live in an area where tallness is considered 
a social advantage and very much admired, we are apt to find the 
tall men in that locality self-confident and perhaps conceited. 
Thus, when we find the same personality traits characterizing 
large groups, we should expect to find them associated with a 
combination of similar physical traits playing on a common 
environment. As I write this, I cannot help but immodestly call 
to mind the results of my own doctoral thesis in which I found 
definite personality differences between varsity college athletes 
and a group of non-athletic college students. 


In supervising thousands of boys over a period of years, in a 
variety of competitive athletic and physical activity situations, I 

From Hollywood to City College 205 

was struck by the apparent personality differences that seemed 
to exist between the "good athletes" and the "very poor athletes." 
In an attempt to learn whether the personality differences really 
existed outside of the athletic situation, and if so, what they were, 
I embarked upon a happy statistical investigation. I say "happy," 
because right from the start I knew that whatever answer the 
study yielded, it would be a contribution. 

The question I posed might generally be stated, "Do athletes as 
a group have different personalities from non-athletes?" From my 
vantage point I did not predict a positive or negative answer. I 
merely quoted two groups of psychologists and sociologists. One 
claimed that athletics tears down and unnerves youngsters, the 
other said that athletics makes for favorable personality traits. I 
merely said, "Let us investigate to determine whether or not a per- 
sonality difference really exists?" 

There I sat safely on the shelf like a political candidate who had 
been nominated by both parties. This is indeed an ideal position 
for anyone bent upon scientific research. 

The study was conducted in 1941 under the aegis of Professors 
Frank S. Lloyd, Brian E. Tomlinson and Paul V. West, then in 
the departments of Physical Education, Psychology, and Statistics, 
respectively, at New York University. Dr. Lloyd is now head of 
the department of Hygiene at the College of the City of New 
York, from which institution the students for the study were 

All the varsity athletes that were members of any team during 
that year at the City College were given a series of pencil and 
paper personality tests. The same trait tests for emotional stability, 
introversion, sociability, aggressiveness, self-confidence, religious 
interests, etc., were given to a group of non-athletes. Of these it 
might be said, "They couldn't throw a ball." To complete the 
picture the tests were given to a group of average athletes who 
indulged in the intramural games at the college. Each of the 
groups numbered more than 135 college men. 

206 Psychology for the Millions 

Striking and reliable personality differences were found be- 
tween the college athletes and the non-athletes. The personality 
traits definitely favored the ball players. They were more emotion- 
ally stable, more extroverted, got along with people better, and 
had more self-confidence. The varsity athletes were very similar 
in all respects to the intramural participants. These results are very 
closely akin to those characterizing Dr. de Q. Cabot's group with 
the athletosome physique and healthy personalities. 

A word of caution must here be inserted about conclusions to 
be drawn from this statistical, personality-superiority of athletes. 
Would it now be valid to say that, "If you want your boy to be a 
self-confident, stable person you have but to make of him an ath- 
lete?" No, indeed. The investigation does not warrant such a 
conclusion. The causes of the personality differences were not 
examined. For all we know, it may be that those who go into 
athletics have better personalities to begin with, or that the rigours 
of athletics are such as to eliminate the less hardy personalities. 

Thus, while two factors appear together, such as favorable per- 
sonality and high athletic ability, you cannot state that one is the 
cause of the other unless this has been shown by experiment. Such 
errors of reasoning or reading into the results of an investigation 
are common. It is through just such loose conclusions that Dr. 
Kretschmer's findings were stretched, not only by himself, but by 
others as well. And when put to the test of a statistical examina- 
tion, these theoretical extensions were the elements that failed to 
stand up. 

What, if any, are the practical applications of such a study that 
does not go into the cause of things but merely compares groups ? 
For one, it serves the purpose of an exploration. That is, it indi- 
cates whether or not differences do exist, the causes for which 
may later be examined. Secondly, the knowledge of the differ- 
ences can be applied. For example, if you had to select from college 
men, a group of social-minded, more extroverted personalities to 

From Hollywood to City College 207 

be employed as contact men and had no time to examine, them 
individually you would do well to choose those who were athleti- 
cally inclined. If you desired a group of more introverted individ- 
uals for research work, you would do better by selecting them 
from the non-athletes. 

In this group-superiority of personality shown by the City Col- 
lege varsity athletes, we see the expected combination of simi- 
lar physical traits playing upon a common environment. A per- 
fect example of this harmony between physical proficiency and 
mental stability is seen in the wholesome nature characterizing cir- 
cus folks. 


Although my observations are admittedly subjective, I was 
unusually impressed by the uniform emotional stability that I 
found among the circus stars as I came to know them during 
their 1944 and 1945 appearances in New York City. In this group, 
I saw typified the Greek ideal of "a sound mind in a healthy body." 
Ambling in and out of their two-by-four dressing rooms at the 
Madison Square Garden I had ample opportunity to see these stars 
with their hair down. 

Among the world famous circus performers, members of a 
profession in which temperamentalism is forgivable, unhealthy 
emotionalism, fears, and naive inhibitions were conspicuous by 
their absence. From the unsung once famous twin clowns, John 
and Henry Nelson, to the top-name Wallendas and Cordovas, I 
found them to be modest, unspoiled, responsible, intelligent per- 
sonalities. Their understanding of human nature was far above 
that which is to be found in the population at large. Typical of 
their attitude, for example, is their relationship with a male mem- 
ber of the circus cast who is frankly effeminate or a homosexual, 
if you wish. It is recognized by them that his condition is a bio- 
logical deviation and he is treated normally and intelligently in 

208 Psychology for the Millions 


their business relations. He does an excellent job in his professional 
capacity and is an important employee who is respected by his 
co-workers and employers for his technical abilities. 

I found the circus troupers to be appreciative and magnanimous 
in praise of their fellow performers. Carl Wallenda introduced 
me to a rival wire-walking artist, Nio Naitto. Miss Naitto, the 
Chinese-Russian, petite charmer of the tight wire, took me to the 
dressing room of the Vienna born Torrences of whom she spoke 
with high praise. This famous "Couple in the Comet" told me 
about Roy and Juanita Deisler. The Deislers introduced me to 
a host of competing fellow-trapeze artists. As one member of a 
troupe would walk out of a room, the others would proceed to tell 
me of the remarkable accomplishments that he or she had mod- 
estly neglected to inform me about. And so it went throughout. 

Judging by their nobility, stability, and unusual absence of neu- 
rotic traits, one could not help but gain the impression that these 
members of the circus were, as a group, amazingly happy in their 
chosen profession. In the few weeks that I moved among them I 
ran across a dozen examples of personality fortitude for which 
these troupers are famous. Some have been mentioned previously, 
such as Roy Deisler's giving his regular evening performance on 
the trapeze bar after suffering a broken nose during the afternoon ; 
and the Torrences moving their act up to a height of eighty feet 
after Victoria Torrence recovered from a fractured jaw and hip- 
bone in a fall from a height of forty-five feet. 

Testimony of the characteristic resistance of circus people to 
emotional panic is the fact that so few have ever been injured 
during the great circus catastrophes. In their greatest tragedy, the 
Hartford fire that occurred in 1944, and resulted in a loss of 170 
lives, it is significant that not one of the 900 circus employees met 
death. The five Wallendas were trapped in the midst of their high 
wire act by the blazing canvas just over their heads, but every one 
of them reached the ground safely. After their nerve-shaking 
descent from the 40-foot, high wire, the men helped the women 

From Hollywood to City College 209 

to safety and returned to help others over the animal exit-chute 
that stood as a barrier to the children's escape from the flames. 

In the circus wizards of muscular coordination, we see an un- 
mistakable combination of uniform, physical superiority coupled 
with psychological wholesomeness. But, as in the case of the col- 
lege athletic group, we cannot be sure that the circus experience 
has caused the sterling qualities of personality. It may be that only 
those with adequate personalities can survive the circus life, or that 
circus glamour is such as to attract those with the best personalities. 

Here, then, we have seen three groups with characteristically 
favorable personality adjustments, namely: Dr. de Q. Cabot's 
athletosomes, the City College varsity athletes, and the circus per- 
formers. Does this mean that you can type the college athlete or 
circus performer as a personality ? No, it does not. From our obser- 
vations and conclusions you may not even say that a football star 
will have a better personality than the anemic-looking water-boy 
of the team. The reason for this is that our characterizations apply 
only to one group compared with another. On an individual basis 
the generalizations do not hold. For example, in my own study 
of the three college groups, there was a great deal of overlapping 
between the collegians in each group. Statistical group results is 
one thing, particularizing for individuals is another. 

Despite the fact that you could prove that athletes and circus 
performers show uniform personality wholesomeness, you could 
not state that any two of them were alike. It is true that because 
of common influences they show common traits. However, just as 
two peas that stem from the same pod and receive the same sun- 
shine are not identical, so with two personalities. One need go no 
further for such proof than the Dionne quintuplets. 

Every scientist who has studied the Dionne quints Dr. Blatz> 
Dr. MacArthur, and Dr. Dafoe has pointed out that despite 
many similarities, each of the children has a personality that dis- 
tinguishes her from her sisters. This is an impressive fact if you 
consider that the environmental upbringing of these hereditarily 

2 ro Psychology for the Millions 

identical quintuplets has been more uniform than has ever been 
experienced by children in the history of the world. 

In thinking of the dissimilar personality trends of the quints I 
am reminded of a philosophical observation made by a physicist, 
Professor Charles A. Corcoran, head of the Physics Department at 
the City College of New York. His lectures were so filled with 
related and entertaining asides that attendance in his required 
Science Survey course overflowed into the aisles during the depres- 
sion days of the 1930*8. In the course of one such "Scurvy" lecture, 
as it was called in locker room parlance, "Prof" Corcoran pointed 
out that numbers in the physical universe reached billions, tril- 
lions, and skillions. Then he stopped abruptly and reminded his 
gaping freshman audience that this shouldn't be considered so 
amazing. "Think of what you have in the face of man," he said. 
"With just five elements a nose, ears, eyes, mouth, and chin 
there has been created more than a hundred billion faces, yet no 
two were ever identical." 

With the many traits that go to make up personality, it would 
seem illogical to expect that any two combinations will admix to 
yield identical types. We return then to the thought with which 
this chapter was begun. That is, you can't type personalities. Or 
to state it poetically, you can't put people in pigeonholes. 

Since we can't tell much from the exterior, let us turn our atten- 
tion to the human interior. Or, in the proverbial phraseology, our 
next chapter is devoted to an examination of "what makes us tick." 


uC\<O/i f\AA r C O * 




'S amazing! A put-up job! It can't be! Umbriago!" By these 
expletives the famous comedian, James "Schnozzle" Durante, calls 
attention to the gigantic riddle of understanding some people. Or, 
as he would say it, "How do they get that way?" "What makes 
Sammy run ?" is the way Budd Schulberg poses the question in his 
poignant character study of east-side Sammy, hell-bent for Holly- 
wood. Professor Gardner Murphy in his style asks: "How do 
human beings become the complicated personalities that we know 
them to be?" And the answer to this pundit, it is said, lies in the 
analysis of human behavior .t 

One of the first questions that the psychologist is called on to 
answer in the analysis of "the human comedy" is: Why a man 
behaves in a certain way at a certain time? This "why" of any 
human act is called the "motive." In the analysis of behavior, what 
you do is important, how you do it is more important, and why 

* Title adopted. 

tin formal psychology there are as many approaches to the problem of personality 
analysis as there are schools of psychological thought. In general this writer prefers to 
borrow discriminately from all sources. In this subject it appears necessary to adopt the 
approach of one school. In the interest of intellectual honesty it should be known that 
the psychological terms and principles of this chapter have been remissively adapted from 
the writings of Professor Laurance Shaffer in his textbook on the Psychology of Adjust' 
ment. Professor Shaffer in turn acknowledges that his point of view is derived from such 
men as Wm. H. Burnham, H. L. Hollingworth, E. B. Holt, J. B. Morgan, E. L. Thorn- 
dike, L. Carmichael, and R. S. Woodworth whose thinking might collectively be termed 
the school of objective psychology. In fairness to Dr. Shaffer he should in no way be 
held responsible for the manner in which his thoughts are herein treated. 

212 Psychology for the Millions 

you do it is most important. The reason or motive behind any act 
is considered so important a measure of personality that it makes 
the difference between a life and death sentence in connection 
with a crime. 

In the Chicago gangland massacre on St. Valentine's day in 
1929, seven members of the Bugs Moran gang were lined up 
against the wall of a garage and machine-gunned to death. Fred 
Burke, in whose house the machine guns were found, was con- 
victed and executed for the murder of these rival gangsters who 
had been trespassing on his gang's territory. 

Alva Johnston tells about another gang war in which there were 
ten murders and 101 bombings. This was the result of a bloody 
jurisdictional dispute between the United Mine Workers of Amer- 
ica and the Progressive Mine Workers in southern Illinois. The 
weapons used in the murders and bombings were traced to the 
workshop of Mitchell McDonald and Robert Robertson. They 
were convicted and received five to twenty-five year sentences. 

George Cox returned from a business trip to the coast a week 
earlier than he was expected. Since the hour was late he went 
directly home without phoning. Entering his bedroom he found 
a strange man serenely asleep in bed with his wife. The interloper 
never awoke from his slumber. With the gun still in his hand, 
Cox gave himself up at the neighboring police station. He was 
acquitted by a jury of six men and six women the unwritten 
law but don't depend upon it. 

The crime in each of these three instances was murder. But the 
penalty of the law was determined not so much by the act as by 
the motive. 

In fact were the consequences of the crime considered, the ver- 
dicts would have to be reversed in all three cases. Burke, for his 
extermination of a part of gangland would rate a citation; McDon- 
ald and Robertson would come in for the highest penalty for the 
murder of the greatest number; and if we can judge by its preva- 
lence in society then Cox's victim was guilty of a misdemeanor. 

"What Makes Sammy Run", 213 

The law, judging as it does by the motive, is estimating the 
potential rehabilitation value of the personality on trial. Psycho- 
logically speaking, this basis of criminal law is most scientific. 
They do some things right, after all. 

In the three crimes cited there is present a diversity of social 
motives and forces acting on the lives of the persons involved. 
Through any one of the situations we can illustrate the steps in the 
pattern of personality formation as it proceeds from behavior. Let 
us take the killing of the Bugs Moran gang by Fred Burke. 

Among a dozen desires in the mind of Fred Burke, one of them 
is the wish to gain personal power. As he seeks to satisfy this 
motive, Burke finds himself thwarted by the Bugs Moran gang, 
he responds to the thwarting by literally eliminating it, thus 
achieving release of the tension, which is accompanied by an effect 
upon his personality. 

The four steps in any pattern of behavior may thus be listed as: 
(i) a motive or drive that needs to be satisfied, (2) an obstacle or 
thwarting that stands in the way, (3) a response or adjustment 
that must be made to the obstacle, (4) release of the motive tension 
accompanied by an effect upon the personality. 

It is generally recognized that men are moved by good and bad 
intentions, are met by big and small obstacles, and make healthy 
and unhealthy adjustments. Within the limits of the hereditary 
background, each personality will be molded into its multiform 
shapes by the repetition of the above process. From it will come 
William Shakespeare's world of players with their many-sided per- 

As you view this passing parade of snatches from personalities, 
you will see bits of yourself reflected in the mirror of these pages. 
If you like the image, retain it. If you find it looks ugly in some- 
one else, the chances are it doesn't suit you either; change it. In 
the words of the poet and dramatist Johann Schiller: "If you wish 
to know yourself observe how others act. If you wish to under- 
stand others look into your own heart." 

214 Psychology for the Millions 


Motives arc not static impulses in any person's make-up. To the 
contrary, they have been described as dynamic, ever-changing 
"mainsprings of human behavior." They do not represent a sys- 
tem of so many internal organs. It is true that in the very beginning 
all activity stems from such internal tensions as are created by 
hunger, thirst, fatigue, sex, and body needs. But people soon learn 
to vary their behavior in satisfying these biological drives. To 
realize the extent of modification that takes place in original 
motives, you have but to consider the human varieties of sex 
expression. One man learns that he can take it or leave it, another 
can't take it, a third can't leave it, and, as one cartoonist recently 
quipped: "I can take it or leave it; depending upon her attitude." 
And the things each man will do to satisfy his own turn of mind 
are unpredictable. 

As conduct is diverse, so too are the motives from which the 
conduct emanates. Taken individually, we would have to name 
as many motives as there are acts of behavior. For convenience in 
study, motives have been grouped by their common basis. A list 
suggested by Professor L. Shaffer includes subsistence motives, 
mastery motives, social approval motives, conformity motives, 
sex motives, mixed motives, habits as motives, and sentiments as 


The motives for subsistence are the most universal and lasting. 
When the means are available they are easily satisfied. It requires 
little imagination to understand how hunger, thirst, fatigue, and 
exposure to the elements drive us to seek food, drink, sleep, and 
shelter. However, when these basic needs are denied us for a time, 
we behave strangely with reference to them at some other time. 

Benjamin Franklin, through one of his Poor Richard maxims, 
declared: "Poverty, poetry, and new titles of honor make men 

"What Makes Sammy Run" 215 

ridiculous." In the earlier allusion to Babe Ruth, Paul Gallico 
offered the theory that the baseball star's habits of gorging himself 
with food were associated with his childhood years when he was 
undernourished and starving. Referring to this situation, Gallico 
asks: "Is any man who has starved and lived meanly geared to 
accept and handle sudden wealth?" 

There is little doubt that early poverty and deprivation acts as 
a persistent force in coloring the life activity of an individual. In 
the ghetto-born childhood of Sammy Click, Budd Schulberg 
found the answer to his question: "What makes Sammy run?" 
The author found the answer to striving, ruthless, success-seeking 
Sammy in learning that he didn't get his first pair of shoes until 
his fifth birthday. These were a pair of hand-me-downs, so large 
that "they flapped like a clown's and made the other kids laugh." 
He found the answer in the family's hand-to-mouth existence off 
the father's pushcart earnings, in the drubbings that Sammy took 
from the school bully, inlhe boy's childhood renunciation of his 
religious obligations as a Jew. Though Sammy Click is a fictional 
character, he is, real enough to be considered an actuality. 

That early wants such as were suffered by Babe Ruth and 
Sammy Click determine adult motives is indisputable. We can- 
not, however, make a rule as to the exact nature of the late* 

Extreme generosity often springs from early poverty. Jimmy 
Durante, the highly successful Hollywood and Broadway night- 
club comedian, was reared in the shambles of the lower east-side 
of Manhattan. Leaving school in the seventh grade he had to 
make his way by running errands and performing odd jobs. A 
recent Time magazine article describes the comedian as "probably 
the hardest working millionaire extant (income 1943 $250,000). 
He eats little (two raw eggs for breakfast), sleeps little (about 
five hours), reads widely (keeps an encyclopedia in the bath- 

2 16 Psychology for the Millions 

"He goes to the cemetery every Sunday when in New York, 
to his father's grave; when in Hollywood, to decorate his wife's. 
One of the few truly modest men in show business, he spends 
almost nothing on himself and gives away about as much money 
as Manager Lou Clayton will let him get his hands on. (Says Clay- 
ton: 'He's the sweetest goddam guy that ever lived!')" 

Danny Kaye is another successful New York and Hollywood 
comedian born in a milieu of poverty. Referring to his aims, we 
are told he has one major ambition. This, according to a biographi- 
cal note, is "to buy an apartment house in his old neighborhood 
and collect rents himself and always, every time, say 'thank you' 
to the tenants even if they can't pay anything." Danny, it seems, 
was born in a section of East New York (Brooklyn) where the 
rent was a pressing and everlasting problem. 

Every one of us can find in our circle of acquaintances people 
who are yet strongly motivated in one or another direction by their 
early subsistence strivings. That all who spring from similar ori- 
gins do not react according to a type pattern is quite obvious. 
Contrast Sammy Click's bitterness toward his father for the fam- 
ily's early poverty with Jimmy Durante's devotion to his parents 
despite the fact that he too had to earn his own living before 
completing elementary school. When asked by his brother whether 
he was sorry about his father's death, Sammy Click answered: 
"Sure . . . I'm sorry he was a dope." A far cry was thi$ reaction 
from Durante's behavior in religiously visiting his father's grave 
at regular intervals. 


Beginning in infancy there exists in every one of us an inherency 
for self mastery and freedom from restraint. Pin an infant's arms 
down and it won't be long before his cries bring about his release. 
At the walking stage, place an obstacle in the infant's path and he 
will slash at it, kick at it, or howl about it. 

"What Makes Sammy Run" 217 

With intellectual growth and understanding there appears sub- 
stitute symbols for the infant obstacles. At this time it is no longer 
physically necessary to block a youth's path to arouse action. 
Merely say "no," deny him certain wishes, or challenge his right 
to a claim. The same urge for unhampered freedom and the elimi- 
nation of an obstacle is now translated into the will to achieve, 
the urge to beat a rival, the drive to attain undisputed champion- 
ship. In adulthood it is represented by the surge for success, inde- 
pendence, rugged individualism, power or, in general, what has 
been termed the mastery motives. 

Properly nurtured, these motives can lead to greatness and the 
satisfaction of wondrous accomplishments. Untutored and un- 
bridled, the motives can become a source of all the things we 
dislike in people. Remaining as infant-centered influences, they 
produce the spoiled-brat type of activity. They appear in the kid 
who must be captain of the team or else. . . . You see the same 
impulses at work in the boss who wants things done his way 
despite the good sense or dollars it drains from him. They give 
birth to bachelors who haven't learned to compromise their per- 
sonal comforts and desires. These are the urges that characterize 
the kind of behavior in adults about whom you say: "He acts like 
a baby; he pouts and sulks if he doesn't get his way." 


Individuals who defeat themselves in an excessive striving for 
power and mastery are the victims of these motives in an unre- 
fined state. One of the greatest tragedies among statesmen in the 
history of the United States the Hamilton-Burr duel sprang 
from such puerile origins. The honor of the Vice-President had 
been impugned and only a duel could restore it. In killing the 
brilliant young statesman on that memorable day at Weehawken, 
New Jersey, Burr marred his own life and career with a never-to- 
be-forgotten blight 

2 1 8 Psychology for the Millions 

John Wilkes Booth, the fanatic assassin of Abraham Lincoln, 
consumed himself with his aspirations. Describing his condition 
just prior to the assassination, Margaret Leech in her Reveille in 
Washington says of the actor: "Booth, however, no longer needed 
a rational justification for his hatred of the President. It had burned 
until it lighted all his mind with a blaze in which he walked in 
glory, the hero and avenger of the south." 

In modern times, John L. Lewis forgot all about his duty to 
millions of CIO union members in a personal conflict with Presi 
dent Franklin D. Roosevelt. In the 1940 election he promised to 
resign as CIO head if Roosevelt was elected. He kept his promise. 

In a Harpers article, titlfed "John L. Lewis's Last Bid for Power," 
Dale Kramer gives an insightful analysis of the labor leader's be- 
havior. He says of Lewis: "His foresight and timing in a given 
campaign are brilliant, but his vision of the whole is clouded by 
personal hatreds, a desire to punish no matter what the cost, and 
a congenital inability to share leadership equally with another." 

The phrase, "a congenital inability to share leadership," is psy- 
chologically ever so accurate. Right from birth there begins to 
develop this self-centered ego drive that consumes us unless it is 
turned outward. It is quoted that in the early days of his organic 
ing efforts when the day's work was over, Lewis would put his feet 
on the desk and ask, "What makes me tick ? Is it power I'm after, 
am I a St. Francis in disguise, or what?" 

Striving for personal power seems to be rampant in labor 
leaders. The stories about James Caesar Petrillo describe him as 
running the American Federation of Musicians like any ordinary 
dictator with a salary of $46,006 a year. Some time ago, when 
Mutual Broadcasting scheduled a series of concerts using Army 
talent, Petrillo announced that no Army bands could play over 
the air until he and Secretary of War Stimson had talked it over. 
"Why Stimson ?" he was asked. "Sure Stimson," he replied. "Why 
fool around with the little guys?" And of David Dubinsky, Presi- 
dent of the ILGWU, his biographer relates that "at the ace of 

"What Makes Sammy Run" 219 

fifteen young Dubinsky led and won a strike against his father's 
bakery," where he was employed as a master baker. 

The effect of selfishly motivated power politics is not restricted 
to the contamination of politicos only. Humorously enough it has 
been recorded in the lives of two of the world's most celebrated 
analytical psychologists. Speaking of the rift between the father 
of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, and his famous disciple, Carl 
Jung, Professor Laurance Shaffer points out that "their quarrel 
seems to be personal rather than based on profound differences 
of theory." He states : "Both were strong men who could not toler- 
ate a superior and hence they parted. In his writings Jung con- 
tinues to make many depreciatory remarks about Freud, and the 
latter has replied in kind." 

In die case of our labor leaders, their aspirations for personal 
supremacy have happily brought in its wake manifold benefits to 
millions of workers. With reference to the squabbles of great 
psychologists, theirs is an academic affair that annoys a few peda- 
gogues and does little general harm. But too often the outcome of 
such false-value ambition results in widespread human suffering. 

It is a strange paradox that from the very motives for self- 
mastery which drive men to strive for independence there arises 
a ruthlessness that permits the sacrifice of the next fellow's inde- 
pendence. In its insidious manner this is the same spirit that breeds 
the monomania of demagoguery which characterized our Hitlers, 
Mussolinis, Robespierres and Napoleons. 

Most of us are familiar with these little corporals in our every- 
day life. They are the "straw bosses" who make the worker's life 
miserable in the machine shops as they seek to become general 
manager. They are the head-bookkeeper who treats the girls under 
him as if they were chewing gum on his time. They are the fore- 
ladies in the needle trades. They are the martinet Army officers who 
"get it in the back" when they go into action. They are the little 
executives whose daily motto is "See that everything clears through 
me first." 

22O Psychology for the Millions 

These actions are not to be confused with those arising out of 
a desire for mere financial security or social approval. True, such 
motives are frequently present as well, but as is evident in the 
behavior, both money and friends are often sacrificed in the inter- 
ests of self-centered ego. Making one's way through life on the 
next fellow's bunions arises from calluses on the brain. 


It is an equal paradox that the same motives for mastery that 
breed dictators, can, if wisely nurtured and guided, inspire the 
type of self-sacrificing behavior leading to renowned achievements 
in the interests of humanity and cultural advancement. It was no 
selfish motive for glory that sparked the efforts of Pierre and 
Madame Curie. The challenge to master the secret of radium 
made Madame Curie oblivious to two attacks of tuberculosis that 
showed up as scar tissue under X-rays taken years later. 

Paul de Kruif gave us the story of Ignaz Semmelweiss, the 
bright-eyed, enthusiastic Hungarian doctor who showed the way 
to prevent death among mothers in child-birth. His discoveries 
and writings went unheeded. He became a tireless, undaunted 
crusader. To promote his cause he sacrificed his professional stand- 
ing by publicly attacking doctors and Professors of Medicine with 
the cry: "the murder must stop." To Professor Scarzoni of Wurz- 
burg he wrote, "I denounce you before God and the world as a 
Murderer." Finally the frock-coated doctors in Vienna and all-over 
Germany were scared into accepting his truths. 

In an entirely different field, Vincent Van Gogh's burning de- 
sire to contribute a painter's genius to the world of art caused him 
to suffer untold hardships and poverty. He subjected himself to 
torturous long hours of work in the burning sun that scalded the 
hair from his head and eyebrows. His priceless, sunlit canvases 
now grace the walls of museums in Europe and the United States. 

Through such human ardor we get our Florence Nightingales, 
Paul Ehrlichs, John Browns, Joan of Arcs, and Louis Pasteurs. 

"What Makes Sammy Run" 221 


Nowhere does this basic motive for mastery appear in a more 
native, undressed state than on the fields of unorganized competi- 
tive athletics. Daily, a million American boys live, eat, and sleep 
over their rivalries of the sandlots, gymnasia, track, and swim- 
ming pools, their major aim appearing only in a will to win, to 
beat a rival, lower a time, raise their average, or break a record. 
Oftentimes they break their necks doing it. 

Athletes are aware of the lifetime injuries suffered annually by 
thousands of players on these sandlot fields. They know that men 
of athletic fame and more than fifty thousand high school and 
college athletes were incapacitated for military service because of 
athletic injuries. Yet they remain undaunted and will gladly risk 
their limbs to achieve the success of carrying a football over the 
goal line of a stone-studded field in Los Angeles or Brooklyn. 
Why ? To satisfy that urge for struggle and conquest, we say. To 
master the thing that presents a challenge. 

Typical of the way this challenge works is the incident related 
about Jim Thorpe, the Oklahoma-born half Indian who, at 58, is 
the world's greatest natural athlete. Enrolled at Carlisle Institute, 
he was doing clean-up chores after the track team had completed 
practice. With broom in hand, he gazed contemplatively at the 
high-jump bar which had been left at 5 feet, 8 inches, the best 
height of the team's ace jumper. Asked what he was looking at, 
Jim said, "the bar." Asked if he had ever high-jumped, he said, 
"No, but if a horse can do it, I can do it." Removing his heavy 
shoes he proceeded to clear the bar by four inches. 

From this challenge to do what a horse could do, Jim Thorpe 
went on to as yet unequalled athletic achievements. He won the 
all-around Olympic track and field championships in 1912, was 
two-time All- American in football, and gained a place on the 
New York Giants baseball team. 

Although the fame and glory motive is quite prevalent in com- 

222 Psychology for the Millions 

petitive activities, almost every one of us has risked life and limb 
in some foolhardy activity "just for the hell of it," for "the thrill 
of it," or to satisfy that urge "to lick it or die trying." Some die 

Take for example the number of young gymnasts who have 
been killed attempting the triple somersault. Earl Chapin May 
relates that an unknown circus performer was the first to break 
his neck while trying a "triple" at Mobile, Alabama, in 1842. 
Johnny Aymar, a great leaper, was killed trying to master this 
death-dealing stunt a few years later. George Miller, a short, heavy 
set farmer lad who had learned to leap over horses and elephants, 
tried it next. He knew about Aymar's death but was undaunted. 
The third time he tried it he landed on his head and broke his 
neck. William Hobbes was number four on the list of victims, 
which keeps growing. 

In an attempt to swim the channel between England and France, 
half a dozen women had been taken from the water nearly uncon- 
scious but without success. In 1926 Gertrude Ederle became the 
first woman to swim the English Channel. She paid for her con- 
quest of the world's most turbulent water-gate by near deafness 
from the battering about the head that she took from the waves. 

One would be hard put to find a more useless feat than swim- 
ming this strip of water into which has been poured the blood of 
nations at war. On second thought, perhaps more pointless was 
the drowning of Captain Bud Adams, one among many who lost 
his life trying to swim the whirlpool formed by the rapids of 
Niagara Falls. 

What is it that stirred men like Eddie Rickenbacker and Lou 
Meyer to risk their lives in five-hundred-mile automobile races, yet 
knowing that when they finished this grueling event their hands 
would be tightened in a death-like grip on the wheel and have to 
be pried loose by the mechanic ? Why should Gar Wood or Kaye 
Don negotiate a nerve-racking water course and subject himself 

"What Makes Sammy Run" 223 

to a severe body pounding as he catapults through the water in a 
speedboat race at 130 miles an hour? Of what stuff are our Roscoe 
Turners and Jimmy Doolittles made, that in peacetime they flew 
racing crates that were commonly referred to as death tr^ps ? 

Consider if you will what Paul Gallico calls "Dead Man's Meet- 
ing." This is the meeting of the drivers and mechanics who are 
gathered together the day before the annual Indianapolis Speed- 
way Race. Past experience has taught every one of the fifty-odd 
healthy, grease-stained young men that by tomorrow one of them 
will be dead. "Among the living sits a dead man." Yet year in and 
year out there are more entries for the race than are accepted. 

Countless are the number of skiing enthusiasts, bobsled racers, 
mountain climbers, high divers, speed skaters, football players, 
wire-walkers, bareback riders, trapeze gymnasts, and daredevils of 
every sort who risk their neck in sheer deviltry. Why ? 


Sigmund Freud attempts to answer this question by saying that 
within man there are two basic instincts. He calls one the ego or 
libido drive which is the "instinct for self preservation." Acting 
against this, he says there is a "death or destructive instinct." Thus, 
he would explain the acts of daredeviltry by this instinct for self 
destruction. Dr. Karl Menninger has written a rather interesting 
book on this motif; Man Against Himself is the title. 

Alfred Adler, in splitting away from Freud's school of thought, 
has based his teachings on the theory that "the principal force of 
life is an ego-instinct or urge to individual superiority." 

In criticism of these two theories, Professor Shaffer and other 
objective psychologists have pointed out that they suffer from the 
same shortcomings as the general theory of instincts. That is, they 
do not explain the basis for behavior but merely give it a name. 

For their part, the objective psychologists would say that the 
neck-risking behavior is a product of the individual's environ- 

224 Psychology for the Millions 

ment. That it grows out of a combination of motives including the 
desire for mastery, success, fame, financial security, and social 

Psychology is highly indebted to Sigmund Freud for calling 
attention to the importance of motives in the understanding of 
human personality and for forcing upon the world the truth that 
disguised sex motives are often at the bottom of mental distortions. 
However, in this matter of understanding certain human activity 
in the achievement of success and renown, I prefer the explanation 
of the objective psychologists who attribute the hazardous athletic 
behavior to the motives for mastery and social approval. Let me 
give you an example of the interpretation on basketball-playing 
made by two psychoanalytic practitioners who are my acquaint- 


To my knowledge, these two really charming people are sincere, 
well-intentioned, scientific-minded persons. One I know to be a 
member of the American Psychiatric Association. In a discussion 
on the sublimation value of basketball, the psychoanalyst said, 
"Don't you see the obvious symbolism in the game of basketball ? 
What do you think the boys are chasing symbolically as they chase 
each other and the basketball around the court?" After voicing 
my objection to this stretch of the imagination, I asked, "And what 
is there about shooting a basketball into the hoop other than a 
test of skill, a desire to show off, and the thought of gaining 
muscular exercise?" The answer in this case was in the direction 
of hetero-sex rather than homo-sex. Said the psychoanalyst: "Don't 
you see the symbolism in putting the ball in the hoop?" 

In the mind of these psychoanalysts, the motives behind basket- 
ball playing, or the symbolization as they call it, is a form of sex 
gratification. They would say that boys and men risk injuries in 
basketball because the purpose behind it is the satisfaction of an 
unconscious sex urge. I see nothing of the kind in this activity and 

"What Makes Sammy Run" 225 

doubt that any but the Freudian thinker would see it. To the 
average psychologist the game represents challenge, self improve- 
ment, and social approval motives. 

In fairness to these two psychoanalysts, I feel impelled to cite 
the speculation made by Paul Gallico with reference to the game 
of basketball. In his Farewell To Sport he says: "I am surprised 
that no one has ever advanced another reason for the great success 
of the game. It is definitely psychically satisfying to see the ball, 
thrown or shot through the air, drop through the hoop and net 
that seems barely big enough to permit it to get through and the 
longer the shot, the bigger the thrill. There is something vaguely 
sexual about it." 

If Gallico and my psychoanalytic friends are going to think that 
way, why stop with basketball ? Football, that rugged man's game, 
calls for much intimate body contact and I say there's nothing 
sexual about it, as will every other individual who has played 

Yes, there is something "psychically satisfying" about seeing a 
basketball shot through the air, drop into the hoop. It is the same 
psychic satisfaction as when bat meets ball and you watch it fly 
like a bird over the fence and out of the ball park. It's the same 
satisfaction as a spiralling football going seventy yards off your 
boot; or the "feel" in killing an overhead lob in tennis; or the 
satisfaction of a three-hundred-yard drive in golf. Psychically satis- 
fying, they are. The thrill is undeniable. But I see it as a thrill of 
achievement and. mastery rather than a thrill of sexual gratifica- 
tion. Is there any more or less sex in a golf ball rolling on a long 
putt into a 4>4-inch hole than a basketball arching into a hoop ? 
I guess not. I admire Mr. Gallico's superb skill as a writer and 
judge of human nature, but I cannot agree with his psychoanalysis 
of basketball. My praise of Mr. Gallico is not uttered as an apolo- 
getic embellishment, but as a sincere belief.* 

* To fully appreciate Paul Galileo's merits as a writer with a sensitive feel for the pulse 
of human nature, I recommend that you read his 73 -page classic, The Snow Goose. 

226 Psychology for the Millions 

To return to our motives and things athletic, it is well recog- 
nized that in properly guided sports there exists an unparalleled 
opportunity for developing wholesome attitudes in men. The 
athletic mottos of "team-work," "group loyalty," "stamina," "fair 
play," "sportsmanship," are nothing more than common names 
for desirable psychological motives. The great coaches, Knute 
Rockne, "Pop" Warner, Alonzo Stagg, Lawson Robertson, Dean 
Cromwell, Forest Allen, Matt Mann are great psychologists who 
motivate their players and instill in them these time-honored 
values which lead to the shattering of records and bones. 


Frisco, the star of the Ringling Brothers seal act, spins his cum- 
brous body around on a chinning bar by holding on with his 
front flippers. Advertised as the only seal in the world to perform 
this gymnastic front circle, Frisco receives the applause of the 
crowd as if he knew it. Dewey, Johnny, and Dolly, his fellow- 
trouping seals, add their trained approbation by clapping their 
flippers and honking their joy. All in turn after doing their stint 
strut over to trainer Roland Tiebor to receive the earned pat on the 
head, fish in the gullet, and the familiar "good boy" or "good girl." 

In an interview with the genial trainer I asked, "How do you 

"You train them just like you train a baby," was Mr. Tiebor's 
reply. Then he added, "In practice you show them a new trick and 
when they do it right you pet them, feed them, and praise them. 
They understand. They can tell by my voice when I'm mad. But 
you have to have more patience than even with a baby. It took 
Frisco two years to be dependable on that 'muscle grinds' trick." 

The veteran trainer's comparison between training seals and 
babies seemed to be more than an idle simile. When I first ap- 
proached Mr. Tiebor he was busy trying to make his four per- 
formers go to sleep. When I left him after an hour he was still 
trying to get them to sleep. And he was having his troubles with 

te What Makes Sammy Run 9 ' 227 

Frisco, who he claimed had lately developed the habit of putting 
his back flipper in his mouth. I smiled inwardly as I thought of 
telling Roland Tiebor about the latest psychological advice on 
"thumb-sucking" in babies. 

In the same way that Frisco and Dolly have been trained, we 
humans learn to respond to social approval. Much like the seals, 
the human infant becomes conditioned to his mother's smiles, 
laughter, and applause that accompany the feeding, petting, and 
playing time. He thus associates the approval signs with the self- 
satisfying activities of eating and love stimulation. Later these 
expressions of approval become associated with other activities 
and are sought from a wider circle of admirers. 

Thus, we see in young and old alike a seeking for attention, 
caress of sympathy, friendship, and conformity. These appear as 
an outgrowth and continuation of the childhood behavior that 
brought the happiness of social approval. 


A child is quite obvious about his desire for attention. He "shows 
off," struts, talks loudly, and turns somersaults. When this be- 
havior appears in a grown-up he is apt to be considered a fool. 

Fred Saunders recounts an amusing incident concerning Rich- 
ard B. Sheridan, the Irish dramatist and poet. It seems that Sheri- 
dan had become very much annoyed with a fellow member of 
the House of Commons, who continually drew attention to him- 
self by crying out "Hear, hear!" In describing a political contem- 
porary, and with malice aforethought, Sheridan took occasion to 
exclaim with great emphasis : "Where, where shall we find a more 
foolish knave or a more knavish fool than he?" "Hear, hear!" 
shouted the troublesome member. Sheridan turned around and 
thanked him for the prompt information, then sat down amid a 
general roar of laughter. 

Of a like nature is the rustic who tries to steal your parlor car 
scene with, "I've heard that one before." Or the college bumpkin 

228 Psychology for the Millions 

who buzzes the gag line into the ear of everyone around him 
while the Professor is telling his favorite "chestnut." As Jimmy 
Durante would say, "Everyone wantsa get into da act." 

Young collegiates Ed and Coed who ponderously discuss 
among themselves, for their neighbor's ears, the fourth dimension, 
the Marxian Utopia, and Freud's libido are no more sophisticated 
than the parliamentary knave or the buzzing freshman. The im- 
maturity of the attention-getting methods is common in all of 

These sophomores are not unlike the girl in a cartoon referred 
to by Professor Husband on the same subject: "It showed a typical 
summer resort scene with a boy of about ten shouting to his sister 
poised on the end of the springboard, 'O.K., sis, you can dive now; 
all the boys are looking.' " 

The adolescent posing on the diving board reminds me of a 
description I read somewhere about a would-be patron of the arts. 
Daily he would spend two hours at the art museum gazing raptur- 
ously at a Rembrandt while counting the number of persons 
who saw him at his post. 

A first cousin to these poseurs for attention are the human pea- 
cocks. "Dressed to kill," they hold a one-man Easter parade every 
day in the year. In poetry they have been flayed with the appella- 
tion of fools and foppery. Dryden in his Man of Mode has said: 

True fops help nature 9 s wor\, and go to school 
To file and finish God Almighty's fool. 

Modern style, we see these fops with the zoot suit, reet pleat, and 
wide brimmed pancake hat. 

Characteristically, showiness acts like a boomerang. Adopted as 
a means for gaining social approval, it attracts disapproval. The 
reason being, that it is recognized as a bid for attention on a child- 
ish basis. That some satisfaction is gained by these persons is un- 
derstandable. The worst treatment you can accord a human being 

"What Makes Sammy Run" 229 

is to ignore him completely. It is more satisfying to them to be 
slandered and criticized than to go unnoticed. 


This motive for display is an element of youthful vainglory from 
which few of us are entirely exempt. Even the truly great, with real 
talents, are prone to some form of external embellishment. Duke 
Ellington, composer of around twelve hundred pieces, has been 
referred to by Stokowski and Stravinsky as one of the greatest 
modern composers. Like any other Harlem boy he has a passion 
for color and clothes. He has forty-five suits and more than a 
thousand ties. 

George Jean Nathan in describing his friend and celebrated co- 
worker, H. L. Mencken, says of the literary genius: "He scorns 
society but has his evening clothes made by one of the best and 
most expensive of Fifth Avenue tailors." Bing Crosby of whom it 
has been said: "He has a genuine fear of being considered a show- 
off," is noted for his loud apparel and colorful bow-ties. Even 
George Bernard Shaw, the critic's critic, who wears belted jackets 
and knee pants, trims his beard. 

That the habits of dress of these talented persons of renown 
arise out of a vain desire for individual recognition is apparent. 
If all the white-haired men living near G. B. Shaw's London re- 
treat, took to wearing knee pants, belted jackets, and white beards, 
he would most likely switch to long pants. The sight of his own 
image coming and going would be too much for the iconoclastic 


Celebrated figures notoriously indulge themselves in a variety 
of individualistic splashes to satisfy whimsical urges of their fledg- 
ling days. They have enough money and talent to allow them- 

230 Psychology for the Millions 

selves to be unconventional or sartorially resplendent. Opposed to 
this picture is the social conformity which the average person fol- 
lows from day to day. 

Starting with the clothes we wear, life in the city reverts to a 
childhood game of "bah! bah! black sheep, follow the leader." A 
Panzer division of stylists push us from pillar to post. 

In women's hats, dresses, and hair styles it seems that the aim is 
for every American woman to look just like every other woman. 
The man gets it too. One button suits, two button suits, three but- 
ton suits; wide brim hats, narrow brim hats, pork pie hats, and no 
hats. In manners and modes we imitate the affectations of the 
times. Everyone tries to be a first nighter and appear at the newest 
clubs. The latest books must be read. If there's a Picasso exhibit 
then it's Picasso one must know about or be deemed ignorant. In 
vocabulary, words and phrases are mouthed until they become 
hackneyed. Vacationists follow the Green Line to wherever it leads 
that year, Miami, New England, Brazil, Mexico, and points west. 

We are not very different from children with their checker- 
time, marble-time, ticket-time, and button-time which precedes 
election time. And so the psychology of the millions, by the mil- 
lions and for the millions goes on ad-infantilism. 

The psychological explanation given for conformity behavior is 
that, as children we are taught to do the right things. And the 
"right things" means doing the same things in the same way that 
mama and the teacher tell you to do them. Disobedience is met 
with scolding, criticism, and punishment. If criticism and blame 
or punishment go together often enough, children learn to react 
to criticism by fear, submission, and distaste. Do you know any 
grown-up children who, "just can't stand criticism?" 

So we find that a good deal of social conformity is due to a fear 
of being unconforming. 

Recently a New York columnist and a feature-writer combined 
their efforts to show us that in the simple matter of hat-tipping we 
dance to a national monkey tune that costs $250,000,000 a year. No, 

' ' What Makes Sammy Run' 9 231 

those numbers are not a mistake; Americans spend one quarter of 
a billion dollars a year to have their hats watched. 

"Ours is strictly a business of intimidation," says John the Turk 
in describing the hat-check set-up to Maurice Zolotow, author of 
the article. Mr. Turk who owns several hat-check concessions, con- 
tinues : "We ain't got no legal right to collect a tip. If a jerk wantsa 
go way without tipping the girl, we can't make a holler. So it's 
strictly up to the girl to intimidate the jerk. . . . You'd be sur- 
prised hominny jerks think their tips goes inna pockets of the 
girls. ... In many spots we don't even let the girls have pockets 
inna uniform." Mr. Turk, it appears, doesn't have a high opinion 
of people who check their hats. So Hy Gardner, the New York 
columnist who purchased a gray fedora for $3.75 and then com- 
puted, for the benefit of Mr. Zolotow, that it cost him $138.25 for 
checking over a period of five months, has not worn a hat since. 

The frowning picture we have painted about mimicry in dress, 
manners, morals, and tipping habits is not to imply that prudence 
in conforming to conventions should be damned. But rather that 
social conformity should be based on reason rather than fear of 
criticism. An individual or a people whose behavior is governed 
by fear, lives under threatening clouds of emotion which erupt into 
ulcers, hypochondria, and neuroses.* 

Just as it is unhealthy to bend one's personality in an effort to 
conform because of fear, so too, back-bending in the opposite di- 
rection to assume arbitrary license will lead to a weakening of 
personal integrity. The flagrant damning of convention in Holly- 
wood has given the cinema colony a strike-out average in divorce 
that is treble that of the population at large. In fact they have 
made such a fetish of irregularity that when one of their number is 
plain and unaffected it is a cause for comment. 

An ideal picture of the happy medium in meeting the world 
face to face is offered by talented, lovely Ingrid Bergman. She dc- 

* The role of fear in shaping personality is deemed so important that it has been made 
the subject of an entire chapter on "Fear and Personality.'* 

252 Psychology for the Millions 

fies the conventions of Hollywood by being normal and whole- 

As Donald Culross Peattie says in describing the "First Lady of 
Hollywood," "She is so natural and sensible that she has the Holly- 
wood experts baffled. Producers swoon when she protests the ex- 
penseto them! of her costumes, of retakes or wasted time. She 
is so simple that it takes the American public to understand her. 
When the queens of the cinema were presented to Madame 
Chiang Kai-shek in Hollywood Bowl, they tripped across die stage 
with all the chic they could muster, each aware that this was the 
walk-on of a lifetime. Ingrid Bergman, hatless as always, and as 
always without a jewel on her untinted fingers, stepped forward 
in low-heeled shoes and a plain gray dress, smiled and shook 
hands in unaffected friendliness." 

Conforming, yet unrestrained by superficial convention, is the 
description for Ingrid Bergman. In a world of adornments she 
wears no hat, no jewels, low heels, and natural colored nails. 
Warmth, simplicity, and sincerity are the watchwords of con- 
formity by which this Stockholm girl has won social approval in 
the hearts of the American people. 


fo pJaiiMPC 


Lift can only be understood backwards 
But it must be lived forwards 


E H A VE seen that, driven by motives for subsistence, power, 
approval, and success, persons like Babe Ruth, John L. Lewis, 
Madame Curie, Jimmy Doolittle and just plain people aspire 
toward certain goals. To complete the picture of people and their 
aspirations we must consider what factors stand in the way of 
achievement and how they are resolved. 

The factors that stand in the way, are what the psychologist re- 
fers to as the conflicts or thwartmgs of life. The manner of resolv- 
ing the conflicts are considered the adjustments of daily living. 

Were this a classroom textbook on psychology, the next step 
would be a lengthy classification of types of conflicts. This would 
begin with a listing or description of common conflicts. Here arc 
several examples borrowed discretely from five textbooks: 

"The sex drives of prisoners are thwarted by the fact that no 
persons of the opposite sex are attainable." "A college boy wants 
to be a football hero but is afraid of being hurt." "A young man 
wants to get married but has to support his parents." "A girl of 

234 Psychology for the Millions 

little talent wants to be a dancer but can't afford to take lessons." 
"A child holding a toy wants to pet a kitten." 

Conflicts such as the above are variously classified by the motive, 
by whether they are positive or negative, by whether they arise 
from within the individual or from the environment. Any group- 
ing of life's obstacles is purely arbitrary and for our purposes un- 
necessary. Everyone, throughout his life, more or less, will know 
the indecision of conflicts or thwartings between what he wants 
and what he can have. 

Show me a man who knows no conflict and I'll show you a man 
without a brain. (Someone must have said that before. Queries 
Editor, JV. Y, Times: Please answer, Who?) Even in Spence Dout- 
hit, Erskine Caldwell's latest half-wit character in Tragic Ground, 
there is a trace of disturbance occasioned by conflict in a presum- 
ably non-existent social conscience. Arriving home he enters the 
bedroom against his wife's pleading, to find his twenty-year-old 
daughter Libby in bed with a soldier from a local hospital. Is he 
surprised and delighted to see that it's Jim Howard Vance! 
"Where in the world did you come from, Jim boy?" he asks. "I 
wouldn't take anything for seeing you again," exclaims Spence. 

Although obviously not too disturbed over the indiscretion, 
Spence nevertheless wants Libby and Jim to get married. And in 
the name of decency or something or other, out of the feebleness of 
his brain, Spence gets the idea of bringing home a husband for 
his thirteen-year-old daughter Mavis, who has become a prosti- 
tute; never mindful of the fact that the fellow is a degenerate pro- 

Though Spence Douthit manifests few strong inclinations to- 
ward his conflicts, psychology teaches that the way in which we 
resolve or adjust to conflicts determines our personality. This is 
not to say that any one personality is patterned in a particular style. 
Rather, it is recognized that all of us have many sides or many 

Dodging Through Life 235 


One of the first psychologists to describe the multi-facets of 
man was William James. Writing in 1892, he stated, "A man has 
as many different social selves as there are distinct groups of per- 
sons about whose opinion he cares. He generally shows a different 
side of himself to each of these different groups." 

The truth of Professor James' observation is not difficult to ac- 
cept. Which one of us hasn't at some time or other murmured to 
ourselves, "I wonder what my friends would think if they knew 
this side of me?" 

That all of us are many-sided creatures has been indicated in 
almost every intimate biographical sketch written. In describing 
the eminent conductor, Arturo Toscanini, S. Jean Wolf says, 
"There are, in reality, two Toscaninis. One the public sees; the 
other his friends know. There is the frowning maestro of the re- 
hearsal room, the Napoleon of the orchestra, who leaves his men 
exhausted yet admiring. ... To know the other Toscanini it is 
necessary to meet him away from the scene of his work. Sur- 
rounded by his friends, he is an entirely different man. ... To 
them he is the simple, unaffected Italian whose parents were so 
poor that he went to a school at Parma where not only education 
but living was free." 

In a close-up of Charlie Chaplin, Jim Tully details an inner as- 
pect of the great pantomimist which is disguised by the outward 
impression he gives to the world. About Chaplin, he says, "No 
man better concealed disdain with charm and a lack of trust in all 
men with unctuous, appealing manner, and a smile that would 
have melted the heart of Cromwell." And as to Jim Tully himself, 
a more unique individual would be hard to find than this rugged 
looking litterateur who fought his way along the railroad tracks 
to get to the other side. In the introduction to Tully's enchanting 
portraits of A Dozen and One, Damon Runyon says of Tully, 

236 Psychology for the Millions 

"There is a breath of the Ould Sod in his accent. But if occasion 
demands he can pull culture on you with the ease of an old 
fashioned town marshal getting out his six pistol." 

Some may imagine that the variegated images shown by the 
great and near great is hypocrisy. Banish the thought. Before such 
a naive notion goes any further, let me say no! with emphasis. The 
two-sidedness and three-sidedness that any human shows, is nor- 
mal intelligent behavior wisely adapted to varying situations. The 
world would present a sad spectacle if we didn't harmonize our 
personality to blend with the surroundings. Blending is another 
word for adjustment successful adjustment. 


It was stated previously that the manner in which we adjust to 
conflicts determines our personality. As we meander through life 
we learn to adjust and maladjust to a variety of situations. It may 
now be said that these adjustments become the habits by which we 
make or break. This is a lot of verbiage; let us illustrate. 

At the City College of New York, where this writer is a teacher, 
all students must swim 75 feet as a requirement for graduation. 
The water holds terror for many young men. In fact, in every en- 
tering group of 100 freshmen there are 20 who cannot swim. Of 
these twenty, 15 are taught to swim by the end of their two-year 
physical education course. The other 5 in every 100 who remain 
non-swimmers are of interest to us at this time. 

The 75-foot obstacle in the path of graduation for non-swimmers 
has occasioned a variety of responses varying all the way from 
determined, successful effort to hysterical terror. Here is an ideal 
situation that lends itself for illustrating effective and ineffective 
methods of adjusting to life's conflicts. 


By collegiate standards, one of the worst, the very worst meth- 
ods employed to beat the swimming requirement is what may be 

Dodging Through Life 237 

termed the "Jhn Alden technique." This simple dodge consists 
of getting a friend to swim the distance and credit your name or 
gymnasium-class spot number. If caught, horrors ! There is talk of 
expulsion, visits to the Dean, apologies, etc., etc. Legally, this is 
not a healthy way to solve problems. People go to jail for that kind 
of stuff. Psychologically speaking, this is a misdemeanor or con- 
duct disorder known as cheating. If you don't overdo it, the 
chances are you'll outgrow it in jail. 

There are many variations on this theme of solving life's prob- 
lems by deception. Fritz Kreisler used a modification of this arti- 
fice in perpetrating the greatest hoax in the history of classical 
music. In presenting his own compositions, the famed violinist 
represented them as products of such masters as Vivaldi, Couperin, 
Martini, and Pugnani. Biographer David Ewen relates that Kreis- 
ler himself confessed to his close friends that "he had no intention 
of pulling the nose of the musical world." He merely resorted to 
"a temporary though ethically questionable expedient of a young 
and unknown violinist who wished to have his own works per- 
formed more widely." 

When Kreisler first revealed the truth, after having to live with 
his deception for some thirty years, he was "scathingly denounced 
and mercilessly criticized." However, the maestro's forthright ex- 
planation and his generous and engaging personality have served 
to overcome the antagonism of the music professors whose nose 
he pulled. They have forgiven him his trespass just as the City Col- 
lege professors have pardoned many a student who deviated from 
the straight and narrow. 


Case number two among our five percent of dolorous non-swim- 
mers, personifies another form of artful dodging. He shoves the 
problem out of his mind as if it didn't exist. Here's the way he 
does it. 

238 Psychology for the Millions 

For the first semester he begs off with some kind of a legitimate 
or illegitimate excuse. And as he hoped, in the administrative 
shuffle of the records he escapes detection throughout the next 
year and a half of his physical education course. The student shuns 
the pool like smallpox. Consciously or subconsciously he avoids 
any activity remotely associated with swimming. He even passes 
up the annual boat-ride. When graduation rolls around and said 
candidate is refused his diploma, he is aghast at the injustice. He 
doesn't remember ever being told that he had to swim 75 feet in 
order to graduate. "Who told me ?" he demands to know. 

Our student is not lying. He can't remember being told, This is 
what is known psychologically as repressing an unpleasant 

In a brief biographical portrait of Walter Winchell, J.P. McEvoy 
humorously illustrates this mind-quality of forgetting unpleas- 
antries. In answer to a question on libel suits, McEvoy relates that 
the columnist denied ever being stuck for payment. Commenting 
on the denial, McEvoy says: "A lot of things people say about 
Walter are denied by him quite vehemently, but he should be quite 
tolerant about this, because all day long, every day in the year, 
people are denying things he says about them and, oddly enough, 
most of these things turn out to be true." 

To prove his point, McEvoy tells about the time Winchcll wa 
sued for calling a certain club a "racket." "The next day so many 
members withdrew that the club went bankrupt. The Mirror was 
soaked $30,000, later amended to $15,000, which was paid. Win- 
chell says he didn't pay a nickel, but the New York county clerk's 
office says, in addition to the above amount, they collected $2,500 
and court costs for $186.10 from a man named Walter Winchcll 
who was running a column in the New Yor^ Mirror at the time. 
Of course it might have been somebody else by the same name." 

Like our non-swimmers who couldn't remember, Walter Win- 
chell was not intentionally lying. A psychologist would say that he 
had merely repressed an unpleasant memory. 

Dodging Through Life 239 


Although the repression reaction is uncommon as outlined in 
our swimming example, it is very often met by psychiatrists in per- 
sons showing an inhibition toward a sexual conflict or some other 
strong fear-producing circumstance. For example, in the non- 
swimmer himself, if you try to elicit the original cause of his water 
phobia you will usually find a real repression. He is unable to re- 
call or admit to a conscious memory of the fear provoking circum- 

Mere forgetting is the least of the ills attending adjustment by 
repression. In ever so many cases the suppressed tension seeks an 
outlet and appears as a bizarre phobia or compulsion. Professor 
Shaffer points out that a compulsive habit for frequent hand-wash- 
ing is often a result of repressed anxiety about masturbation. 
Shakespeare dramatizes the hand-washing of Lady Macbeth as a 
compensation for her murders. 

The variety of neurotic complaints that have their origin in a 
repressed anxiety or sense of shame makes this mechanism liter- 
ally a Pandora's box. Out of it issues the gamut of all the queer ail- 
ments known to that new branch of medical knowledge called 
"psychosomatic" medicine. This is a big word for all the kinds of 
body ills that appear as a result of psychological disturbance. These 
include authentically known cases of stuttering, inability to swal- 
low, ulcers, rashes, paralysis of limbs, blindness, etc. By authentic, 
I mean that the conditions appeared as body disturbances but re- 
sponded to cure by psychological or psychiatric treatment. These 
arc the types that make up the "miracle" faith cures about which 
one reads. 

In many of these cases of repressed neuroses, if it weren't for 
the fact that the persons suffered actual pains from their imagined 
ailments, one would say that it was downright funny. In the treat- 
ment of such individuals a sense of humor and ingenuity on the 
part of the doctor, goes a long way. 

240 Psychology for the Millions 

Arthur Hertzler, "the horse and buggy doctor," in speaking of 
men with neurotic symptoms remarks, "You can sense the busi- 
ness condition of the country by his stomach complaints." At the 
same time he tells the story of a childless woman who complained, 
as he says, "of everything in the book." One day she petulantly re- 
marked, "I don't see why I can't have good health like other 
taromen." To which Dr. Hertzler replied in his salty style, "Madam, 
there has never been a method discovered whereby one can repaint 
a Model T and make a Packard out of it." It seems that the very 
gruffness of the doctor's reply so shook the patient that it made a 
new woman out of her. 

Somewhat akin to Hertzler's method is the ruse reported by a 
doctor on his treatment of a patient who developed hiccoughs af- 
ter an operation. None of the usual remedies worked. At his wits' 
end, the doctor happened to recall that the patient was noted for 
his frugality. He prescribed an expensive medicine that was re- 
puted to cost $50 a dose. After the first dose the hiccoughs stopped. 

Then there's the case of the retired merchant who was con- 
stantly coming to the office of Dr. Collins to inquire about his heart 
which was perfectly sound. One day Dr. Collins put his arm 
around the patient's shoulder and said, "You need not worry. 
Your heart will last you as long as you live." The merchant left the 
office in high spirits. 

One must not be misled by the humor in the handling of these 
patients. Psychiatrists and doctors are most earnest in their treat- 
ment of them. Elsie McCormick describes the incident of a little 
girl with a persistent case of vomiting for which no medical cause 
could be found. A talk with the child revealed that in a moment 
of anger she expressed a wish that her teacher would die. Three 
days later the teacher dropped dead of heart failure. The child was 
sure her wish had caused the tragedy and reacted with stomach 
trouble. Recovery was brought about by convincing the child that 
she was not responsible for the teacher's death. 

Despite the inclusion of these cases in this discussion on repres- 

Dodging Through Life 241 

sion they arc not all a result of a transferred repression. Not that 
they couldn't be. But the fact is that there are a variety of such non- 
adjustive mechanisms that lead to neurotic complaints. These will 
easily be recognized as they are described here and elsewhere in 
the book. 


A rather simple but costly reaction to a conflict is exhibited by 
the person who just runs away from his dilemma. In the school 
situation this is a simple matter; the vagrant merely "cuts" class. 
His name is reported to the Dean. He has a chat with the mentor 
and promises to go straight. But the flesh is weak, the water is re- 
pulsive, and the student flunks the course. In elementary school 
this problem avoidance is called "playing hooky." In life it is called 
"an escape mechanism." 

Running away can on occasion be a wise choice. He who fights 
and runs away, lives. However, individuals who habitually flee 
from skirmishes with life's adversities are later seen as the hobo 
who takes to the road, the alcoholic who takes to the bottle, the 
drug addict who takes the needle, and in the extreme the type 
among the mentally distorted who shuts himself off from a world 
of reality to live in an imaginary world of phantasy. 

Characteristically, the truancy technique is mentally unsatisfy- 
ing. It solves no problems, and takes with it an unreleased tension 
that is ever seeking an outlet. John Barrymore was noted for his 
flights whenever his marital affairs became tangled. Mulling this 
thought over on the occasion of the first of Barrymore's four mari- 
tal rifts, Gene Fowler remarks: "It may have been that marital 
troubles caused him to leave the reminding scene." On second 
thought, Fowler appears to be more sure of his idea. He states: 
"An examination of [Barrymore's] subsequent domestic collapses 
discloses in each instance a fugue-like motif of flight. He would 
speak of 'going somewhere else,' then fly away, as if on the wings 
of his own words, to the sea or to foreign lands." Flight never 

242 Psychology for the Millions 

seemed to be a panacea for Barrymore. He had to make repeated 
escapes even to within a year of his death when he fled from his 
last wife, the former Hunter College student, Elaine Barrie. The 
screen star's well known alcoholic propensities represented an- 
other form of his characteristic habit pattern of facing his burdens 
in absentia. 


The expression, "you are rationalizing," is a psychological con- 
cept that has come into popular use. What does it mean to rational- 
ize ? Briefly, in rationalizing, an individual gives socially accept- 
able reasons to cover up the true motives of some behavior about 
which he or she feels shame or inhibition. 

In the case of our non-swimmers they are ashamed to admit 
their fear of the water. Some of them present medical excuses 
which legitimately exempt them from having to swim. They show 
evidence of incipient hernia, bronchial asthma, or sinusitis. The 
last is the most overworked. When you investigate these fugitives 
from the pool you find that they shunned the water even before 
acquiring their physical defects. If you suggest to them that they 
are hiding behind their ailment they will swear on a stack of Bibles 
that they would like to be able to go into the water, "but my doctor 
strictly forbids it." They repeat this so often, they believe it. The 
truth is, they have acquired a water phobia which their ego for- 
bids them to acknowledge even to themselves, and so they ration- 
alize. They say, "I like the water but am not allowed to go in." 

A slight variation of this type of defense is the "sour grapes" 
retreat. If you inquire of one such, why he has retained an appre- 
hension of the water even though he is now grown-up, he matter- 
of-factly says, "It's not that I'm afraid, I just can't see any sense to 
it." Or he will tell you that he has better things on which to spend 
his time. "Let the dumb athletes become water-bugs, I'll stick to 
my books," says this breed. You recognize him, of course, as the fox 
in Mr. Aesop's fable. After jumping for the grapes that hung too 

Dodging Through Life 243 

high for him he sauntered away with the remark that "they are 
sour anyway." 

One meets this brand of reasoning daily. The plain looking fe- 
male speaks of the good looking girl as being "beautiful but 
dumb." The fellow who lacks intellect considers all people with 
high I.Q.'s as "highstrung and nervous." The financially bereft 
considers money as "the root of all evil." Psychologically, all three 
of these notions are inaccurate although the last is arguable. 


Did anyone ever attribute to you a defect that you know is pres- 
ent in their make-up but not really in yours ? If they did, they were 
projecting their fears onto you. This psychological concept of pro- 
jection is a very subtle first-cousin to rationalization. The guiky 
persons hypersensitively see in others the shortcomings about 
which they feel a personal sense of guilt. 

The projection behavior is so subtle that the individual himself 
gradually becomes the blind victim of it. He doesn't realize that 
he is using it as a compensation or disguise for his own inadequa- 
cies. Thus, the stingy man thinks others are stingy, the woman 
who is tempted sexually accuses men of following her, and "the 
pot calls the kettle black." 

The fellow who has a weakness about cheating, for example, 
bends over backwards to remain scrupulously honest. But in his 
projection, as he looks around during an examination he interprets 
every gesture by his classmates as a sign of their dishonesty. It's the 
old story of the guilty conscience. Or as my father used to say 
when he met an over-scrupulous business man, "auf dem goniff 
brent das hittel? 

Various forms of shifting blame are sometimes referred to by 
psychologists as projection. These include actions that are colloqui- 
ally referred to as "taking it out on the door" or "passing the buck." 
Examples in daily life are over-plentiful. The mother blames her 
unruly brat's antics on inheritance from the father's side. It 

244 Psychology for the Millions 

couldn't be her poor training. The drunk blames his liking for 
liquor on his nagging wife. The student who fails a course is sure 
that the professor can't teach. The golf bug throws away his 
"lousy" club. When the carpenter bangs his finger instead of the 
nail it's the "goddam" hammer. And so we defend our ego. 

Consider, if you will, the damage to the personality represented 
by these rationalizations. The fellow with the ailment alibi, the 
sour grapes type, the projector, and the buck-passer are all attempt- 
ing a cover-up for their defections. Should their ulterior designs 
go unnoticed it does them even greater harm. Gaining confidence 
in the use of such thin veils it becomes habitual with them. They 
solve nothing and cover up everything. 

Contrast these evasive methods of satisfying the ego with the 
determined, full-face attack of the individual who recognizes a 
real physical defect or childhood fear and strives with all his might 
to surmount the handicap. 

H. T. Webster, whose cartoons bring chuckles to millions of 
children and grown-ups all over the United States, suffered a writ- 
er's cramp in 1927. The condition became progressively worse and 
he felt encroaching paralysis in the hand that was earning his 
living. There wasn't one iota of neuroticism or evasiveness in Web- 
ster's make-up. Suffering excruciating pain in his hand he con- 
tinued to meet his daily requirement while practising every day 
for hours on end with his left hand. In four months time he was 
able to draw as well with his left hand as he ever could with his 
right. Today, although he can barely sign his name with hi$ right 
hand, the originator of Caspar Milquetoast, The Timid Soul, is 
still tops among cartoonists. 

An exemplary lesson in facing handicaps is contained in the re- 
cent account by Major Alexander P. de Seversky who tells his own 
story under the title, "I Owe My Career to Losing a Leg." This re- 
markable aviation expert still pilots a plane, plays tennis, golf, 
swims, dives, and figure-skates. These activities hold a greater 
than ordinary thrill for him. As he says in his article, "What 

Dodging Through Life 245 

seemed a black end was in reality a bright new beginning. I mean 
it quite literally. My bodily disability awakened powers and apti- 
tudes within me which were dormant." 

Major de Seversky's battle was not devoid of mental suffering. 
In his own words the courageous World War I ace relates, "I dis- 
covered early that the hardest thing to overcome is not a physical 
disability but the mental condition which it induces. The world, I 
found, has a way of taking a man pretty much at his own rating. 
If he permits his loss to make him embarrassed and apologetic, he 
will draw embarrassment from others. But if he gains his own re- 
spect, the respect of those around him comes easily." 

The stories of H. T. Webster and Major de Seversky are only 
two among literally hundreds of thousands of persons who have 
conquered in the face of insurmountable difficulties. The list of 
celebrated names of those who suffered attacks of tuberculosis and 
then came back to leave their mark on civilization is itself a monu- 
ment to potential human fortitude. John Keats, Henry Thoreau, 
Christy Mathewson, Eugene O'Neill, Harold Bell Wright, Eliza- 
beth Browning, Frederic Chopin, are names that doubtlessly strike 
a familiar chord. Viewing their great stature, achieved in the 
throes of devastating illness, it is difficult to realize that there are so 
many among us who are willing to rationalize minor shortcom- 


Completely unlike these personalities who fight and vanquish 
physical handicaps, is an ever-growing group in our population 
that have learned to hide behind illness. Seen among our non- 
swimmers he is termed a malingerer, which is psychological par- 
lance for a faker. This species differs from the rationalizer in that 
he doesn't try to kid himself at least, not in the beginning. In the 
school situation he is trying to put one over on the doctors and he 
is aware of it. There are competent physicians on the medical staff 
of -any college. But Joe Non-swimmer brings a note from his 

246 Psychology for the Millions 

family doctor which says that swimming is bad for his health. 
The school doctors demur and say he should swim. But next time 
Joe brings two notes from doctors in his family which emphat- 
ically state that swimming is not advised. What with medical 
ethics and things, Joe gets excused, but is recognized for what he 
is a malingerer. 

Not too much damage has been done by this one instance in 
using illness as an alibi. We all have our "splitting headaches" that 
keep us from certain social functions. The danger, though, comes 
from making a habit of it. The "social headache" becomes "eye- 
strain" when an unpleasant reading task is ahead and "general 
fatigue" when distasteful work is in the offing. The worst of this, 
is that the act gets so convincing that the victim feels his aches and 
pains and you come to recognize him or her as a neurotic. 


The very same artifice of feigned illness occurs as an attention- 
getting device. In fact "chronic bellyaching" is nothing more than 
a bid for sympathy or attention. It works once, twice, thrice and 
then becomes a habit. Like any habit-forming drug it is first used 
as a conscious means of substituting pleasure for pain. But you 
soon lose control over the use of the drug and it controls you. So 
with employing illness as a device for gaining attention or pity. 
The full-blown groaner is no longer a faker. He really feels the 
aches and pains of which he complains when faced with unpleas- 
ant problems. 

In experiments on patients with stomach ulcer at the New York 
Hospital, Dr. Harold G. Wolff checked to see how emotional up- 
sets affected the flow of hydrochloric acid which aggravates stom- 
ach ulcer. The results were in keeping with the suspected psy- 
chological origin of the illness. While making the tests, Dr. Wolff 
led the conversation around to crucial topics. The acid count went 
way up when a sore spot of bankruptcy or a thwarted career was 

Dodging Through Life 247 

mentioned. It doubled when an estranged wife or amorous infi- 
delity was brought into the conversation. 

The Chinese have a proverb warning against this sort of be- 
havior. It reads: "You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from 
flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building 
nests in your hair." 

In general all of the foregoing type-responses are classed as es- 
cape mechanisms or compensation devices. It is obvious that they 
are highly unsatisfacory methods of resolving problems. It is 
granted, of course, that all of us on occasion indulge in rationaliza- 
tion, blame others for our faults, manifest sour grapes behavior, 
and make lame excuses. The important aspect of this, is that we 
recognize the fact when we so indulge. Oliver Wendell Holmes 
used to say he liked "a good show with the butter spread on thick, 
and that was all right if you remembered all the time it was but- 
ter." More important than recognizing your cover-up techniques is 
to avoid using any of them persistently. 

It is the persistent use of one or more of these modes of reacting 
to conflicts that causes us to stamp a person as a type. Thus you 
will often generalize about an individual and say he is a timid 
soul or a courageous man. In fact, when asked to voice an opinion 
about a person we are prone to give such one word descriptions of 
personality as to call an individual "a worrier," "a buck-passer," 
"a brooder," "a fighting-man," "a liar," etc. Can the personality of 
an individual be truly described by such over-all designations ? 

Again we are asking, "Can people be typed ?" But this time we 
are not referring to an attempt to pigeonhole people by their ap- 
pearances or biological make-up, but by their mind qualities or 
habits of reacting to conflicts. 


Generally speaking, it is incorrect to characterize an individual's 
personality by any single set of habit patterns that he shows. The 

248 Psychology for the Millions 

reason for this is that these patterns though they be habits, do not 
necessarily carry over from one situation to another. A man may be 
a ruthless liar in business, yet scrupulously honest in his family af- 
fairs. Is he a liar or an honest man ? 

Arthur Brisbane, the eminent Hearst editor who died a million- 
aire, used to dine at places like Delmonico's, The Hoffman House, 
and Dinty Moore's. Here his expenditures were almost lavish. We 
could call him a sport, a spender. Yet Stanley Walker, who knew 
him well, relates that on occasion Brisbane would slip into a cheap 
restaurant for a quick meal and leave a five cent tip and a glaring 

A certain newspaperman is known for his forthrightness in 
facing all matters pertaining to his job. He is regarded as a sturdy, 
outspoken newspaperman. But if asked to appear as a speaker be- 
fore public groups he offers weak alibis rather than admit his 
horror of stage fright. Is he a courageous man or a timid soul ? 

Edward W. Browning, known to New Yorkers as "Daddy 
Browning," was the original "sugar daddy." A graduate of Co- 
lumbia Law School, he was one of the shrewdest real-estate oper- 
ators in New York. But in his amorous exploits with young girls 
children in fact he carried on like a silly schoolboy, getting his 
name plastered all over the newspapers during his heyday in the 
1920'$. His behavior was so ludicrous as to stamp him as a fool. Was 
he a shrewd man or a fool ? 

What is the true nature of these people? Do they have a true 
self? Philosophers and poets would have us believe that, in his 
bouts with wine and women, a man shows "truth." Psychologi- 
cally speaking, this writer would say that there just isn't any such 
creature in man as a true self. Robert Louis Stevenson's classic of 
the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in us is only a part of the story. A 
man or woman has as many selves as a fly's eye has facets. Our so- 
cial and civilized culture makes it impossible*f or a man to develop 
or show a so-called true self. And anyway the law forbids it. 

In this game of love, life, liberty, and pursuit, conflicting emo- 

Dodging Through Life 249 

tions are the order of the day. From infancy you start with a clean 
slate and go on to spend a lifetime acquiring inhibitions and try- 
ing to throw them off as you proceed to senility. If the emotional 
turmoil gets to be too much to handle, you find yourself "behind 
the eight ball" as the saying goes, or you become "an eight ball" 
in the latest slang on military psychiatry. 

Our tragic unfortunates of society are these "eight balls" and 
the persons behind them. Criminals, alcoholics, drug addicts, gar- 
ret artists, fanatics, cultists, psychotics and fear-ridden neurotics- 
all have been abnormally victimized by devastating emotional 

When the inhibiting impulses are always in complete control, 
you will be told that you aren't getting much fun out of life. So a 
fellow wrote a book called Be Glad YotSre Neurotic. Who knows, 
maybe he's right. In a Democracy every man is entitled to play 
Pied Piper in his own home. If it leads to happiness then be glad 
you're neurotic. 

Happily, the inhibiting influences are not always in conflict with 
the reasoning intellect. At such times life is serene. This repre- 
sents the ideal, or "normalcy." It is Aristotle's "golden mean." Few 
attain this ideal state of emotional serenity and even fewer main- 
tain it. Nevertheless, the aim of psychological wisdom is to give 
the show-how of training the intellect and emotions to master the 
fear-filled, devitalizing inhibitions in an effort to catch this will-of- 
the-wisp normalcy. 


ao v_>omaf iiid pjear v*YVem?O5e5 in 
J/yav anS Jl/eace 


raw/ thy own breast right, 
And thou hast done with fears! 
Man gets no other light, 
Search he a thousand years. 



EARS are usually caught rather than taught. In a multitude of 
subconscious and unrecognized ways, families, friends, teachers, 
books, churches, radio programs, and motion pictures unwittingly 
spread their contagion of fears in the minds of people. Psycholo- 
gist George Lawton in the quarterly, Child Development, gives an 
example of an unwise mother disciplining her child with threats. 
"The bogey man will get you in the dark." "The policeman will 
take you away." "The doctor will cut off your ears." Can there be 
any doubt that such a child will be afraid of the dark, of police- 
men, and men in white ? 

In an attempt to prepare a child for an ordeal, a parent often 
scares him instead. On the way to the dentist's office a fond mother 
repeats over and over again, "Now don't be afraid." Or she may 
say, "The dentist doesn't hurt good little boys." This very negation 
of fear and hurt acts as a suggestion to the child. He's no dope. He 
reasons, "If there was nothing to be afraid of, his mother wouldn't 
even talk about it, so there must be something to fear." 

Fear Neuroses in War and Peace 


The extreme in this fear of dental ministering is the case of a 
youth who died of fright in a dental chair at Middleboro, Massa- 
chusetts. An official medical statement reported the cause of death 
as "fright in a dentist's chair." According to a news brief: "The 
boy was shaking with fear as he sat in the chair. He collapsed 
before the dentist, Dr. Blank Blank (nobody is going to sue rne), 
had time to begin extracting a tooth." 


Th Curtis Publishing Co. 

Parents unknowingly suggest fears by theij* actions, supersti- 
tions, or conversations. Youngsters will imitate and acquire the ex- 
pressed or acted out fears of their elders. Where the elders of a 
family show superstitious fears of black cats, breaking a mirror, 
Friday the thirteenth, or walking under a ladder the children will 
take on these superstitious apprehensions. Professor S. R. Hagman 
studied the fears shown by children and their mothers. He found 
a remarkably close relationship between the number and kind of 
fears manifested by these mothers and their brood. 

2 5 2 Psychology for the Millions 


Parents who worry out loud about ill-health, doctors, death, 
germs, and hospitals usually develop a family of hypochondriacs. 
Vitamins, calories, illnesses, and surgical operations, past or future, 
are their favorite topics of conversation. Not a day of the year goes 
by but that wifie must vividly describe to her husband some minor 
ache that appeared in a corner of her anatomy that afternoon. Dur- 
ing the day she will baby herself neurotically at the slightest sign 
of discomfort. The picture is familiar. "Mother isn't feeling well, 
dear," she says to her offspring. Mother lies down with a towel on 
her head and groans appropriately when father comes home. 

Should the offspring suggest a pain at any time, he is hustled 
into bed, given aspirins, rectumized with a thermometer, and 
visited by the doctor. From such treatment hypochondriasy, that 
morbid fear of imaginary ailments, is born. 

Arthur Hertzler, in his Horse and Buggy Doctor discusses a 
variety of types of neurotic women. He describes the female vic- 
tims c such home treatment. In his entertainingly laconic style he 
writes: "Artbther suffers from too much Mama. Friend Husband 
is not along but Mama is. This is one of the most prolific sources of 
female complaint. Mama has had allithe symptoms and daughter 
unconsciously imitates her. Hence you must diagnose the mother. 
In cases where there is a strong nervous element, and even if there 
is pathology, the operation must be avoided if possible, because the 
result will be a disappointment to all concerned. One can some- 
times get a lead as to the nature of the trouble by noting her given 
name. If it is a silly one, there is a queer psychological quirk in 
the family, not necessarily on the mother's side." 

Such women are described in the memoirs of every doctor. They 
are the hapless hypochondriacs who spend their time and money 
trying to cure ills that exist only in the imagination of their fear- 
filled minds. They are so numerous that they make quacks out of 
honest doctors. Reports estimate that these women constitute from 

Fear Neuroses in War and Peace 253 

30 to 50 percent of the average physician's practice. It has been 

rightly said that the most unhealthy person is the one who worries 
about health. 


The source of some rather strange childish terrors often stumps 
the elders. A child will wake up screaming with fright. He was on 
the verge of being caught by some hideous, scarifying monster. If 
you inquire further you are apt to learn that in his dream he was 
fleeing from Frankenstein, or The Son of Frankenstein. Behind 
them came Dracula, The Vampire, or the Phantom of the Opera. 
Perhaps a Zombie was relentlessly stalking his footsteps. Or the 
Hunchback of Notre Dame was chasing him through the wind- 
ing passages of the Cathedral. 

Although the Hays Office stipulates that all satanic creatures 
must die at the end of the picture, they live in the child's imagina- 

The "Comic" strips are a fertile source of juvenile terrors. Little 
Orphan Annie is endlessly pursued by swarthy, mustached, 
paunchy, black or brown-shirted plotters. Alleyoop has his 
troubles with a couple of vicious looking pre-historic Dinosaurs. 
Batman, in the garb of a flying bat, apprehends criminals of every 
description. Buck Rogers searches for the "Golden Crescent Treas- 
ure" against the warning of the "curse of death" issued by a skull's 
head, hanging high in the moonlit sky. Eerie! 

Youngsters follow Dick Tracy for weeks in their waking and 
sleeping hours as he pursues such horrendous underworld villains 
as The Brow, The Mole, Flattop, Bee Bee Eyes, Pruneface and 
No Face. Flash Gordon is threatened on the "Throne of Death" 
by Brazor's ruthless secret weapons. Enough of the "humor" 
strips. They undoubtedly bring gales of laughter and fear into 
the lives of youngsters. That they are a power of suggestion is un- 

Several years ago, Orson Welles, the Hollywood prodigy, scared 

254 Psychology for the Millions 

the wits out of two million radio listeners. He and his Mercury 
Theatre Company staged such a realistic broadcast of the War of 
the Worlds that the radio audience thought Men of Mars were 
really invading New Jersey. Thousands became panic-stricken. 
They rushed into the streets. Others clogged the telephone wires 
trying to contact loved ones in New Jersey. The police and the 
militia were called out 

Orson Welles knew his Flash Gordon. He also knew that his 
audience was well acquainted with Men of Mars through the Sun- 
day color strips. What he did not know was that adult radio 
listeners would be so susceptible to fright from make-believe 
sources. Or did he know? 

Movies, comic strips, and the radio are not the sole sources of 
suggestive fears. The newspapers with their Jack the Ripper, 
Hammer Murderers, Axe Killers, and Poison Fiends offer some 
vivid, juicy terrors. An inexhaustible supply of books specializing 
in Crime and Horror stories also lend a hand. 

What is to be done by way of lessening the resulting mind- 
torments ? Condemn and ban the books, radio, and comics ? No, 
that would only add to their attractiveness. Try to eradicate them ? 
Impossible. Keep the youngsters away from the sources? Not 
feasible. Truthfully, I am not aware of any good plan for what to 
do about them. For myself I occasionally browse in these fields. 
Then I casually or half humorously talk about the unreality of 
these imaginative characters to the young ones in my charge. 


Parents and teachers, with a purpose in mind, implant in their 
children a fear of fire, deep water, ferocious animals, automobiles, 
and high places. They paint lurid pictures of what happens to a 
child who plays with matches, walks into the gutter, goes near the 
water, or leans out of the window. These warnings may serve the 
purpose of preventing accidents. But at the same time they can 
lead to deep-seated inhibitions in an intelligent, receptive child. 

Pear Neuroses in War and Peace 255 

The father who paints a distorted picture for his young son 
about the consequences of having dealings with strange girls 
plants a seed of maladjustment. He usually hands out a loathsome 
and erroneous description of the contagion and effects of syphilis 
and gonorrhea. More than a grain of truth is present in the parlor- 
car jokes about the innocent fledgling who suffers nightmares over 
his first sexual contacts. 

This counsel against instilling certain fears in youngsters pur- 
posely, must not be misconstrued. It is recognized that some fears 
are normal and healthy. That "fools rush in . . ." is no idle prov- 
erb. At the right time fear is a good thing. All of us should de- 
velop a healthy respect for an approaching train, a blazing fire, 
a stampeding mob, a knife in the hands of an adversary, flying bul- 
lets, and infectious bacteria. But the caution against these dangers 
should be directed to the intellect. The fear should reside in one's 
reason rather than as a deep-seated, emotional cancer. 


Parents who use fright as the motive for preventing accidents 
and the contamination of their loved ones are contaminating 
them with a graver injury fear. Nor are parents and teachers the 
only guilty members. In fact almost all of society takes a hand in 
this process of educational blackmail. 

I have heard Morris Raphael Cohen, as Professor Emeritus in 
Philosophy at the City College of New York, say in lecture that 
our entire judicial and legislative structure was predicated on the 
fear motive. Professor Cohen used simple, unadorned examples as 
was his wont. He pointed out that the motorist who stops at a red 
light is not thinking of saving lives, but is afraid of the fine for 
passing the light. The $25 a week bank clerk who handles thou- 
sands of dollars, refrains from stealing for fear of arrest rather 
than honesty. And the man who apprehends his wife's adulterer, 
refrains from killing him, not from benevolence but because he 
fears the consequences of the law. 

2 56 Psychology for the Millions 

Most niceties of behavior, social graces, ethics, and etiquette are 
civilized discomforts that we endure because we are afraid of 
what people will think of us. You become civilized at the expense 
of conflicting inhibitions and suppressions. Starting in the high 
chair the word shame is introduced, and with it a multitude of 
bewildering "do's" and "don'ts." 

In babyhood all of your animal fighting habits are subdued. 
Then your mother teaches you to fight back. Then your teacher 
and preacher inform you that fighting is carnal. You get into a 
fist-fight and later feel ashamed of yourself. Next you are given a 
uniform and instruction in killing. 

As a child you could play with any strange little girl without 
an introduction. In the grades they separate boys and girls in the 
classroom. Later the mothers and teachers arrange graduation 
parties to bring the boys and girls together. Next you find yourself 
scrapping at home for permission to go on co-ed week-end parties. 
Then you get married and your parents become divorced. It's all 
very confusing. 

In childhood if you felt the urge you could urinate in the fields 
or in the street, but that privilege is closed to proper adults except 
for Frenchmen. In Standing Room Only, Elizabeth Fowler de- 
scribes her ordeal at having to urinate in a bucket aboard a lifeboat 
in which she was the only woman among thirty-four men. She 
writes, "When the ordeal was over, I told myself that it had not 
been so bad. But each time the struggle repeated itself, and I died 
a hundred deaths of shame and misery." 

In the high-chair you could enjoy eating with your hands, but 
now only certain bony morsels and lobster may be thus treated. 
Some Freudian will probably say that our lobster-eating friends 
are enjoying infantile regressions. Now don't mistake our attitude. 
Freud has made wonderful, insightful contributions to psychol- 
ogy. But for some of his symbolism No, thank you. Yours truly 
heartily disagrees with the psychoanalysts of a recent textbook who 
state: "Fears of kidnapers and burglars in boys often represent the 

Fear Neuroses in War and Peace 257 

relation to a loved but dreaded father, or the fear of witches in 
girls the relation to a loved but dreaded mother." No, thank you. 
I prefer to believe that these fears of burglars, kidnapers, and 
witches simply represent the frightening situations with which 
intelligent children associate them. 

In learning language you were encouraged to mimic the words 
you heard. Then you had your mouth washed for repeating the 
wrong ones. Some of them sound useful and forceful. You hear 
them on the stage and use them in a book. The book is banned in 
a few States, and you have a best seller. It is confusing. 

These are the confused bonds of culture or civilization on which 
too many of us are nurtured. Bewildering they are: fight, don't 
fight; play with girls, don't play with girls; eat with a fork, eat 
with your hands; don't use obscene language, use strong lan- 
guage. One day you may not kill, the next day you're a soldier and 
it's kill or be killed. To keep up with these normal vacillations of 
your life and times, you have to keep a flaccid and adjustable atti- 
tude toward the ways of modern society. 

If the folkways and mores are imparted with an unreasonable 
and strict puritanical discipline they will produce mental anguish 
on occasions when they have to be broken. When imparted on a 
false basis of fear and shame they produce a lack of adaptability. 
Such persons never take a chance. They are the "nice" obedient 
boys whom their friends call "chicken liver" and "panty-waist." 
As a youngster they never hitched behind a car, swiped apples, 
smoked behind the barn, shot craps, played hooky from school, 
went swimming with the gang, threw snowballs at strangers, or 
rang doorbells. None of these vital, mischievous pleasures that 
lead to wholesome adulthood did they dare to enjoy. 

Grown-up he is the inhibited man who never swears or curses 
though bursting with anger; instead he gets ulcers. He confides in 
no one. He never bets on a horse or enters a baseball pool. He is 
completely honest because of the mortifying dread of being caught 
in even the slightest lie or embezzlement. This proper young man 

258 Psychology for the Millions 

never picks-up a girl but would give a great deal to have the requi- 
site nerve. The thought of seduction makes him quake. He never 
eats with his hands, puts his elbows on the table, or uses a tooth- 
pick. He never never belches or passes wind. He's just too good to 
his wife while she has to seek other males for passionate excite- 
ment. He bars the lavatory door behind him at all times. The 
female counterpart is a tattletale in childhood and straps her 
breasts down in womanhood. She has the neckline of her dresses 
at the neck and the hem at the shin. She too locks the toilet door. 
Romance is a part of her dreams but she never flirts or pets. Off- 
color jokes are shocking and swearing in her presence calls for an 
apology. She is efficient at her job, never late, and rarely popular. 

Of course, no one person could be so completely unfortunate. 
But in general these are the kinds of traits that characterize our 
fearsome, unhappy inhibitors. They live in a world of fear. Afraid 
of what the neighbors will think or afraid of themselves ever- 
doubting their ability, or acceptability. That these unhappy per- 
sons are bound by thongs of societal fear is easily seen. Remove 
the element of social disapproval and many will break out of their 
cloister. Place the saint in a sailor's uniform and the transforma- 
tion is interesting to watch. Wartime sex problems give the evi- 
dence that with little excuse the female will slip her harness of 
fear long enough to get into trouble. Under the release of battle 
conditions men will temporarily cast aside the social bonds of cul- 
ture to which they may have unwaveringly adhered for a lifetime. 

John Hersey, in Life magazine, describes the reactions of the 
men aboard the Borie when she rammed a German submarine. 
"Disappointment at the collision gave way to a crazy elation when 
the destroyer's men saw they had the German pinned down. 
Lieutenant Hutchins roared: Tire! Fire! Open Fire!' Then he 
just yelled : 'Yipee !' over and over. Men on the bridge threw their 
arms around each other and danced, shouting, We've got the 
sonofabitch, we've got the sonofabitch!' 

Fear Neuroses in War and Peace 259 

"The situation affected different men variously. Range Finder 
Carl Banks, ordinarily a shy, gentle boy, finding himself with 
nothing to do since the range had been reduced to Zero, kept 
shouting: 'Kill the bastards! Kill 'em!' . . . Officer Lieutenant 
Philip Brown methodically completed his plot of the course of 
action. Then in the middle of the bedlam he reported to the Cap- 
tain: Tve secured the plot, sir. The hell with charting this battle. 
AJ1 the essential facts are right underneath us.' With that Lieuten- 
ant Brown got himself a tommy gun, waited coolly until a German 
came on deck, then raised his gun like a professor raising a pointer 
at a blackboard, and killed another man." 


Religion is one of the greatest social influences in our culture 
today. From this all powerful ecclesiasticism there stems a source 
of fear that is equal to or greater than any other influence in mod- 
ern society. Too often, religionists assail the frail human mind 
with awesome declamations of the consequences attendant upon 
sinful transgressions. They speak of the "wrath of God," the 
"torment of hell," the "evil of the devil," the "fate of sinning," 
the "pestilence of insects," "the scourge of plagues" and "rejection 
in the hereafter." The words themselves suggest a list of fears. The 
thoughts strike terror in the hearts of those who find their bodily 
desires and social needs in conflict with their religious indoctrina- 

Listen to these bits of ranting from Sinners in the Hands of an 
Angry God, a sermon by Jonathan Edwards: "There is not want 
of power in God to cast wicked men into hell at any moment. 
... He that believeth not is condemned already; so that every 
unconverted man properly belongs to hell. . . . The wrath of 
God burns against them; their damnation does not slumber; the 
pit is prepared; the fire is made ready, the furnace is now hot, 
ready to receive them; the flames do now rage and glow. The 

260 Psychology -for the Millions 

glittering sword is whet, and held over them, and the pit hath 
opened her mouth under them. . . . The devil stands ready to 
fall upon them and seize them as his own, at what moment God 
shall permit him. . . . Yea, God is a great deal more angry with 
many that are now in this congregation, that, it may be, are at 
ease and quiet, than He is with many of those that are now in the 
flames of hell." Enough of this. I can see Jonathan Edwards 
reaching out for me. 

Let it not be thought that Jonathan Edwards was an ordinary 
preacher. The Columbia University Press Encyclopedia intro- 
duces him as: "An American theologian and metaphysician, one 
of the foremost philosophical minds in American history." He 
graduated from Yale at the age of seventeen. His forceful preach- 
ing resulted in a revival of religion at Northampton, Massachusetts, 
in 1745, and in 1757 he became president of the College of New 
Jersey, which is now Princeton University. He died shortly there- 

Daniel A. Poling, editor of the Treasury of Great Sermons, says 
of this sermon by Jonathan Edwards: "Here is the most famous 
discourse of its time and perhaps the most terrifying sermon ever 

Terrifying it was indeed. Such religious intimidation becomes 
a deep-seated monster. Ask any psychiatrist in a state hospital to 
name the three strongest torments in the minds of the demented. 
He will readily reply: Sex. Religion. Security. 

Sex and security as spheres of mental breakdown are well 
known. But religion is not generally associated as a partner to 
the crime. 

Sex as an influence inciting to insanity and neurosis has long 
been recognized. Freud is universally acclaimed as the foremost 
proponent of that school. The security school has been led by 
Freud's runaway disciple, Alfred Adler. This school of thought 
emphasizes the thwartings of the human desire for power as being 
at the bottom of mental breakdowns. Fear of insecurity, financial 

Fear Neuroses in War and Peace 261 

conflict, and exaggerated feelings of physical inferiority which 
lead to frustration and ultimate flight into neurosis and insanity 
is the Adlerian theory. 

Where is the school of religious disharmonies ? Surely all who 
have studied abnormals have viewed the untold manifestations of 
religious repressions, inhibitions, conflicts, and torments among 
mental patients. You can hear them wail, rave, rant, or incant 
whatever may be their wont. "God is mighty! God is beautiful! 
Praise be to God ! God help me ! What do you want of me ? I am a 
good man. I am the son of God, Jesus Christ." These are but a few 
of the utterances emitted from the tortured depths of the demented 
mind. I have heard them and noted their utterances literally, as 
has every interested student who has visited the inner wards of a 
State Institution for the mentally ill. 

Sexual frustration has been indicted. The drive for security and 
power has been laid open. In the name of mental health, let us 
rationally recognize the third member in this triumvirate that 
drives people to distraction religious intimidation. For only by 
so doing can it be corrected. 

This does not mean to imply that religious teaching be elimi- 
nated. I know that no such thing could ever take place. But nega- 
tive indoctrination that employs fear as a club must be rooted out 
of religious pedagogy. 

It is just such narrow and negative teachings in religion and law 
that Dr. Arthur Hertzler rather vehemently attacks. I quote: "If 
ministers would just forget the hell hereafter and concentrate on 
the hell on this earth, and if lawyers would forget the law and 
concentrate on justice, they would become our powerful allies in 
alleviating human suffering from the face of the earth, instead of, 
as now, our chief deterrents more, our chief obstructionists. The 
moral sense of doctors of medicine is as highly developed as that 
of any other profession." 

Others have raised their voices in protest against inconsistencies 
between religious doctrine and practice. Although it is a little off 

262 Psychology for the Millions 

the beaten path I feel impelled to quote a soul-stirring, dauntless 
passage from The Keys of the Kingdom. While his very home- 
land was embroiled in its second World War, A. J. Cronin, the 
English physician, who had become a successful novelist, wrote his 
castigation of a war-condoning clergy. He speaks through the 
voice of his central character, Father Francis Chisholm. 

The fiery little Scottish Priest of the Pai-tan mission has just 
been informed that the Catholic clergy of France and Germany 
have respectively placed their blessing on the righteousness of their 
country's cause in the war. To each it was a just war. Father Chis- 
holm answers: "We the holy Catholic Church yes, all the great 
Churches of Christendom condone this world war. We go fur- 
ther we sanctify it. We send millions of our faithful sons to be 
maimed and slaughtered, to be mangled in their bodies and their 
souls, to kill and destroy one another, with a hypocritical smile, 
an apostolic blessing. Die for your country and all will be forgiven 
you. Patriotism! King and Emperor! From ten thousand smug 
pulpits: 'Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's.' There is 
no Caesar nowadays only financiers and statesmen who want 
diamond mines in Africa and rubber in the slave-driven Congo. 
Christ preached everlasting love. He preached the brotherhood of 
man. He did not climb the mountain and shout, 'Kill! Kill! Go 
forth in hatred and plunge a bayonet into thy brother's belly!' It 
isn't His voice that resounds in the churches and high cathedrals of 
Christendom today but the voice of time-servers and cowards." 

No, it was not the voice of Christ that preached killing. Nor was 
it His voice that preached fear. "Christ preached everlasting love." 
The theologian who invokes the fear of God is a deterrent not 
only to human mental health but to the teachings of Christ Him- 
self. "Fear casts out love." 

The psychological-minded pastor, Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick, 
recognizes that misguided religion can be a dangerous weapon 
against human welfare. In his book, On Being a Real Person, he 

Fear Neuroses in War and Peace 263 

writes: "Religious faith does indeed release every sort of energy; 

it can mass its powerful drive on the wrong side of great issues 
as well as on the right; it has backed idolatry, human sacrifice, and 
war; it familiarly issues in bigotry and persecution, and has repeat- 
edly made credulity of false and harmful creeds a sacred duty." 

Just as there are good and bad methods in school teaching, so 
in delivering the gospel. The good Priest, the good Rabbi and the 
good Minister preaches a positive, liberal doctrine of love and 
faith. He leaves room for the inexorable laws of biology and 
human nature. Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick, formerly pastor of the 
Riverside Church in New York City, is one among many such 
enlightened clerics. Of worship leaders such as he is, we shall never 
have too many. 

In 1907 Dr. Fosdick first delivered his now famous sermon, 
The Second Mile, which is to this day being reproduced in popu- 
lar magazines. It inspires in the reader an urge to adopt a way of 
life; a life of fullness. One that will prove productive and satisfy- 
ing. An attitude of voluntarily doing twice that which is expected 
of you, exemplifies the "second mile" spirit. The first mile repre- 
sents the duties you perform out of necessity. The second mile is 
everything over and above that. 

As illustrative of this second mile spirit, Dr. Fosdick tells of 
"men like the old Greek chosen in a joke to be town scavenger, 
who filled the office with such high serviceableness that thereafter 
in all Greece the office was an honor; men like blind Huber be- 
coming the great scientist, or blind Fawcett becoming postmaster- 
general of England; men like Cervantes using an imprisonment 
to begin Don Quixote, or Bunyan glorifying Bedford Jail with the 
Pilgrim's Progress'' 

In this brief sketch there is revealed the succcess of Dr. Fosdick's 
teaching or preaching method. He resorts to simple, inspiring 
homilies. In a high school textbook on examples of Modern Read- 
ings for Thought and Discussion, the authors say of Dr. Harry 

264 Psychology for the Millions 

Emerson Fosdick: "His statements are made clearly, precisely and 
without emotional fanfare. Perhaps that is why they are so con- 

His statements are made "without emotional fanfare." In this 
phrase describing Dr. Fosdick's style there exists the secret of an 
invaluable psychology applied through religion. His is the enlight- 
ened method. It inspires confidence and instils faith by an appeal 
to the intellect rather than the emotions. This is the kind of faith 
that does not leave like a fairweather friend. It is there to help 
men when they are really in need of spiritual help. 


In times of impending death, we are told that the ruffian, the 
murderer, the skeptic and the agnostic get down on their knees 
and pray. At such a time the atheist becomes a theist. Stories from 
every scene of war action cite the prevalence of prayer among men 
in battle. The titles and captions of these stories are self explana- 
tory. There Are No Atheists in the Styes "To men facing death 
in combat, God is very near and personal." So YotSre a Sceptic 
About Prayer "Man's extremity is God's opportunity." 

A closely related member of this writer's family was overseas in 
the capacity of an army sergeant. In the thirty-odd years of his 
life he had never set foot in a temple. His letters suddenly took on 
a religious note. We inquired about his conversion. This was his 
reply: "Now I can tell you. Our transport ship was torpedoed in 
the Mediterranean. I found myself in the water with many of my 
buddies. I don't know where you got the idea that I am a God- 
fearing man. But I assure you that, after floating around in the 
wreckage of a ship for eight hours, without knowing how to swim, 
no one in that water is an atheist. So don't get me wrong." 

There can be no doubt of the life-saving value of faith in a 
Supreme Being. Literature abounds with tales wherein one indi- 
vidual's faith in God has served to maintain the spirits and mental 
balance of an entire group. In the tale of their amazing survival 

Fear Neuroses in War and Peace 265 

after thirty-four days adrift in The Raft, Harold Dixon speaks of 
the role played by prayer in their salvation. 

"Before evening, the three of us were sitting dejectedly silent. 
Then Gene made a suggestion. 

" 'It might be a good idea/ he said, not meeting our eyes, 'to 
say a prayer/ . . . 

"Despite our elaborate irreverence, there was no denying that 
the prayer had made us feel better. Gene, who had more piety in 
his nature than either Tony or I, took evident satisfaction. His 
mind now was obviously clean of worries or self-reproaches. . . . 

"We had another prayer meeting that night, and every night 
thereafter. Each evening after the sun's flamboyant departure left 
us feeling more alone in a world that suddenly lost all color, we 
devoted perhaps an hour to our informal service. There was a 
comfort in passing our burden to Someone bigger than we in this 
empty vastness." 

Harold Nixon, Tony Pastula, and Gene Aldrich obtained from 
their faith in prayer an indisputable mental buoyancy. Theirs and 
a thousand similar confounding experiences bear testimony to the 
almost inhuman power and fortitude inherent in godly worship- 

Dr. Howard W. Haggard tells of the early Christians who, 
while being burned alive, signaled to their friends waiting for the 
ordeal by raising their seared arms in the flames to signify that 
they felt no pain. "Religious enthusiasm," says Dr. Haggard, "was 
their anesthetic." 

Dr. Fosdick gets at the root of this psychological amelioration 
to be gained from religious attachments. Discussing the nature of 
faith, he says: "Whether intellectually true or false, whether ethi- 
cally good or bad, religious faith is powerful and in this potency 
it exhibits the characteristic psychological effect of all positive faith 
as a releaser of personal energy." 

We may say, then, that the consoling power of prayer is avail- 
able to all men who will believe, regardless of whether they are 

266 Psychology for the Millions 

facing the comforts of civilization or the stark terror of battlefield 

Lest this be mistaken as acquiescence to the so-called religious 
"miracles," I must add a clarifying note. What has been said re- 
garding the influence of prayer, applies only to its strength-giving 
and mental hygiene values. As to the explanation of the many 
widely publicized "miracles" of World War II, the answer would 
be the same as that given by Thomas Huxley, the eminent biolo- 
gist, on a similar question. 

When asked how he would explain the phenomenon if he saw 
a bar of steel floating in the air, Professor Huxley replied : "If I saw 
steel floating in the air I would know that it proved the existence 
of a law of nature about which I happened to be ignorant." 


In military service, men are required to behave in a manner 
entirely foreign to them. The very fact that a man is no longer free 
to come and go as he pleases is often an unbearable chain. The 
sights that these men must witness, and the duties they must per- 
form, are completely antagonistic to their culture. The horrors, the 
filth, the tortures, and the beastliness of military existence are re- 
volting to every human fiber. 

In the many life phases that we considered previously, we saw 
that too often the training was implanted in the emotions. As such 
it was dug too deep. Habits of thought and action that are emo- 
tionally imbedded cannot be easily changed or adjusted. Ours is a 
life of change and adjustment. War requires a complete reversion. 

The person whose honesty, morality, culture, and religious be- 
lief is based on intelligence and reasoning will be able to change 
his ideas when a change is required. The unfortunate with social, 
cultural, and religious taboos impregnated in his emotional in- 
nards will not be able to change them. He will suffer fearsome 
tortures of suppression, or burst out into a neurosis. 

Elizabeth Fowler gritted her teeth and for days bore the pain 

Fear Neuroses in War and Peace 267 

of urinary pressure on her bladder rather than the "shame" of 
using a bucket while in a lifeboat with thirty-four men. The need 
for proprietary behavior was steeped in her viscera rather than 
her intellect. Here was an acknowledged situation that required 
an appropriate change in habit, nevertheless, she found it agoniz- 
ing to make the change. 

This same battle between a man's emotional innards and the 
behavior that war demands is the cause of hundreds of thousands 
of war neuroses. Under the duress of certain inhuman harrowing 
torments of jungle and desert warfare, there will be few men 
enabled to maintain normal equilibrium. Let us briefly view the 
immeasurable breach between culture and battle conditions. 

George Kent, in the Washington Post, tells of a sergeant recall- 
ing his experiences in a foxhole on Guadalcanal. The sergeant 
asks: "Have you ever been afraid of the dark ? I have. We all have. 
Only it's a hundred times worse out there. You stand in your fox- 
hole in the dark and it rains. And you urinate. And your pal 
urinates. And the bugs and mosquitoes come around. And it 
stinks. The stink is horrible. 

"Lizards slither through the brush, and you think they're Japs. 
Monkeys chatter and you think they're Japs. You J{now the Japs 
are right over there. You don't dare smoke lest you give away your 
position. You dip out the sludge at the bottom of the hole with 
your helmet because the sloshing may give you away, and you 
pour it out gently." 

Frederick Sondern, Jr., in This Wee\ Magazine, vividly de- 
scribes a British commando officer instructing a group of Ameri- 
can and British boys on what is required of commandos. "This is 
a school for murder," the Major tells his class. "Murder is my busi- 
ness. Not the vague shooting of unknown people in combat, but 
the personal, individual killing of a man in cold blood. It's an art 
which you have to study, practice and perfect. 

"The average Englishman and American, unfortunately, suf- 
fers from remorse. You must overcome that, or it will slow you 

268 Psychology for the Millions 

down at a crucial moment and cause your own death. Shooting a 
Jerry is like swatting a fly. Keep thinking that, shoot a few, and 
you'll sleep like a baby even after the bloodiest shambles." 

In his account of a battle between the U. S. Destroyer Boric 
and a German submarine, John Hersey, in Life Magazine, pens a 
haunting scene pf war horror witnessed by himself and the men 
aboard the destroyer. "The searchlights bathed the conning tower, 
and all guns which could bear opened up at a 3O-foot range. The 
Germans did not lack a mad courage. They kept coming up out 
of the conning tower, trying to get to their guns. The sight was 
horrible. One German was hit squarely in the chest by a 20-mm. 
shell. His head and shoulders flew one way, his trunk another. 
One U-boatman stood there a second without a head." 

Within these descriptions are the multiplex causes of mental 
breakdown. Sleeping in a stinking, urine-filled foxhole; the indi- 
vidual killing of a man in cold blood ; participating in the bloodiest 
shambles; watching a headless man topple from the deck of a 
submarine. Try to reconcile these with the niceties of culture. 
Impossible! They generate a hundred fears. The fear of personal 
cowardice, fear of disfigurement, fear of death, fear for the safety 
of your buddies, fear that the scenes will haunt* your dreams. Add 
to the fears the tensions of darkness, uncertainty, expectancy, sleep- 
lessness, hunger, and the morbidity of dead and wounded com- 
rades; combined, they produce the wartime neuroses of fear re- 
ferred to as exhaustion neurosis. 

The name exhaustion neurosis is accurate. There are at present 
a dozen versions of this term, exhaustion neurosis. The designa- 
tions "battle fatigue" and "war fatigue" have been used to replace 
the "shell shock" misnomer of the first World War. In the air 
corps they have applied such names as "pilot fatigue," "opera- 
tional fatigue," and "flying stress" to the conditions of the men 
who show mental disturbance. Recruits who crack up before they 
even finish basic training are designated by "war nerves," "transi- 

Fear Neuroses in War and Peace 269 

tion neurosis," and "separation anxiety." "Embarkation fever" 
and "task-force fever" explain themselves. 

As in all other things military, the enlisted men have their own 
picturesque nomenclature. A queer actor gets labeled "eight ball" 
from the Army's Section VIII discharge for those mentally un- 
qualified to serve. In the troops, if a man breaks, he is "barrack 
wacky": if he cracks in battle, he is "bomb happy." In the desert, 
he is "sand happy"; in Greenland, he is "glacier happy," and if he 
is a merchant seaman, it's "convoy jitters." 

The symptoms are many and varied among the men who break 
down. Terrifying and repeated nightmares are common to all. 
Some become depressed and stuporous. Their faces may show a 
blank look with vacant eyes and limp mouth. In the field thev 
may gradually show an apathetic loss of interest, a loss of self 
confidence, and then burst like a bubble into a reckless charge at 
a hidden enemy. At the height of battle many are seen weeping 
hysterically or wandering around like sleep-walkers. Removed 
from danger they are often sleepless and easily startled by sudden 
noises. Others suffer what is known as an hysterical paralysis of 
some organ. Even though there is no injury they lose the use of 
an arm, a leg, or their vision. 

Such a case of hysterical paralysis is not a faker or a malingerer. 
Many similar cases in civilian life are known to occur as a result 
of emotional shock or repressed inhibitions. These cases make up 
the many miraculous "faith" cures of blindness, deafness, and 
paralyzed limbs when they recover. In the case of the soldier or 
civilian, his emotional fear has locked his arm or leg in spite 
of himself. It is, as explained by the Freudian concept, a deep 
unconscibus wish-fulfilment. The paralysis, though not organic, is 
truly psychologically deep. It is so far below the man's conscious- 
ness that it is beyond his immediate will-power to make an unin- 
jured limb do his bidding. 

Frederick C. Painton describes the case of an American infantry 

270 Psychology for the Millions 

sergeant in Sicily. He had been tossed into the air by the explosion 
of a bomb that killed three of his men. "Apparently uninjured, he 
got to his feet, and being a noncom with a strict sense of duty, led 
the survivors forward to- capture the position. Later, in a quiet 
interlude, he suddenly stared in amazement at his right hand. It 
was thrust into his pocket, and he could get it out only by pulling 
at it with his left hand. Then it fell limply to his side. Bewildered 
and angry, he slapped it around. But there was no sensation. Hand 
and arm were paralyzed. 

"He did not report this for nearly a week, hoping that sensation 
and movement would return. When they did not, he finally con- 
sented to be evacuated. In the hospital, examination disclosed no 
wound. A psychiatrist gave the sergeant sodium pentothal, a drug 
which produces a form of hypnosis. While under its influence the 
sergeant could freely move his arm, hand, fingers. He was tagged 
'exhaustion* and segregated for special treatment." 

We said previously that the term "exhaustion" accurately de- 
scribed the cause of these many types of fear neuroses. The ex- 
haustion, however, is emotional. Physically the men could easily 
endure the hardships of hunger, pain, sleeplessness, and exertion 
without mental effect. But only when this physical stress is added 
to the emotional duress is there a resulting neurosis. One proof of 
this is the huge number of boys who break in basic training. The 
victims of "transition neurosis," "separation anxiety," and "em- 
barkation fever" certainly aren't physically exhausted. 

Major Frederick Hanson, of the American medical staff in the 
North African campaign, supports this view in the Reader's Digest 
article written by correspondent Fred Painton. In discussing the 
cases of war neuroses, Major Hanson says: "Here in Africa we tag 
all such cases 'exhaustion,' and that is probably the best overall 
description of the several types of war neurosis. 

"Another thing to bear in mind is that exhaustion, or war neu- 
rosis, strikes down all kinds of soldiers. Bravery or cowardice has 
little to do with it. Nor does the length of time a man has been in 

Fear Neuroses in War and Peace 271 

military training. The same symptoms occur among such picked 
men as the pilots and crews of fighter and bomber planes. 

"The most compelling cause of exhaustion is the soul-shaking 
struggle within a man between the desire to do his duty and the 
powerful instinct to save his life. Always remember that fear is 
the normal response of human beings in danger of death." 

A brief explanation of the body functions during fear may help 
you to understand how fear can produce exhaustion neurosis with 
or without physical exertion. In a state of fear the body prepares 
for action. All the strange symptoms experienced at the time have 
a purpose. 

An increased outpouring of sugar from the liver gives the extra 
strength sometimes shown by persons in frightening situations. 
All waste products are rapidly burned to keep the strength up. 
The increased pounding of the heart speeds up the blood supply to 
give more oxygen to the lungs; this is used to obtain increased 
speed for running in the right duration. The goose pimples close 
up the pores and prevent the excessive loss of internal heat when 
you "grow cold with fear." 

While thus occupied, the blood can't assimilate food. Digestion 
is interfered with. Even the mouth goes dry since no saliva is 
needed to aid digestion. The men may eat their rations but the 
body neither digests nor absorbs the food. The mouth eats but 
the body is starved. 

It is easy to see that if this state of emotion is kept up for any 
length of time, even without any physical activity, loss of weight 
and emaciation will result. Indeed, in a description in the Ameri- 
can ]ownal of Psychiatry of the men at Guadalcanal who suffered 
from combat neurosis, Lt. Commander E. R. Smith stated that 
"the weight losses in muscular, toughened young men ran as high 
as 45 pounds." What seemed to surprise Commander Smith and 
his medical colleagues was that the neuroses symptoms occurred 
similarly in men with "all types of physiques, mentalities, environ- 
mental background and education." 

272 Psychology for the Millions 

Commenting on this observation, Professor Meier, in his book 
Military Psychology, says: "The experience of Guadalcanal alters 
the previously held view that only those who are predisposed to- 
ward breakdown from emotional shock and terror are affected." 
In other words, we would say that anyone can normally succumb 
to such abnormal stress and strain. 

This would appear to be a more logical view of war neuroses. 
The former thought centered about the fact that in the same situa- 
tion some men broke down while others did not. Therefore, it was 
reasoned that those men who broke down were weak or unstable 
to begin with. Such reasoning is still held by many. To my way of 
thinking, it is defective and unfair to the men. It is the most com- 
mon type of reasoning error made by careless scientists. Expressed 
in Latin it is known as: post hoc; ergo propter hoc. Literally trans- 
lated : after it; therefore because of it. 

The exhaustion or fear neurosis of men in combat is a normal, 
civilized reaction to an abnormal situation. Fear of death, fear of 
disfigurement, fear for comrades, and fear of fear are normal in 
normal human beings. 

If you ask, "What about those who did not break ?" I say, the 
secret resides in their emotional make-up. And the answer is given 
by the same Major, previously described as the British instructor 
of young commandos. "Murder is my business," he said. And 
when asked what type of man is best suited for the work, he 
replied: "It's the man with cold precision that I want like the 
American gangster." He could have answered: "A man who has 
trained himself emotionally, to kill coldly." 

The knowledge that neuroses which result from excessively pro- 
longed tension are not a sign of mental weakness or abnormalcy 
is an important fact in assisting the cure of these men. This is 
effectively brought out by Commander Smith as he tells about the 
Guadalcanal boys treated at Mare Island Hospital, Vallejo, Cali- 
fornia: "The fear that they would be thought 'yellow' was uni- 
versal. They feel that they are cowards, and envy those who have 

Pear Neuroses in War and Peace 273 

a leg shot off, or have a visible wound which is a badge of honor. 
Their wounds are wounds of fright and tears. We found one of 
our first duties to these newly arrived patients was to endeavor 
to relieve them of this thought of cowardice and it was pathetic to 
see how grateful they were when told that no one could ever 
consider them cowards." 


Reminding the neurotic casualty that his symptoms are not a 
sign of cowardice is only the first step in his recovery. Howard P. 
Rome describes the treatment of these men in mobile base hos- 
pitals in the Pacific. Rest, good food, and sleeping powders are 
the first essentials. From there on it's a matter of reeducation. The 
program outlined by Lt. Rome at a meeting of the American Psy- 
chiatric Association is packed with sound advice and health- 
restoring principles. 

Group therapy is the procedure. Ten to twenty-five men with 
the same symptoms are treated in a group. The idea being to instil 
a feeling of comraderie and belonging. Security is to be gained 
by a pooling of insecurity. As Lieutenant Rome says, " 'In union 
there is strength' is a maxim, not a cliche." 

Insight into the origin of the neurosis is an essential part of the 
hospital education process. The relation between the symptoms 
and their thought-basis is made clear to the men. For instance, 
"being scared to death" and consequent fainting; "being fed up" 
and vomiting are examples of teaching illustrations used in 
group sessions. The men speak of their own symptoms, and the 
group reasons them through. Black-board explanations of per- 
sonality development, such as was included in the early part of 
this chapter, are presented. The group procedure is a 24-hour-a- 
day routine. Work, play, classroom study, meals, recreation, rest, 
and an opportunity to talk over his fears are all a part of the plan. 

The verbal reliving of his experience for the soldier is known as 
emotional catharsis. It's a way of getting it out of his system. 

274 Psychology for the Millions 

Another method of effecting this outlet is a procedure called 
"narcosynthesis." It consists of administering sodium pentothal. 
This induces a form of twilight sleep or mild hypnosis. In this 
state the men are encouraged to relate the experiences that had 
thrown them into panic. Getting it off their chest that way pre- 
vents the torments from becoming unwholesome repressions. 
Cures are immeasurably aided and sometimes completed by this 

Conducting psychotherapy in mobile base hospitals and at the 
scene of action is a valuable innovation. It helps many to get a 
grip on themselves before the morbid symptoms become habitual. 
As Major Hanson has stated on the basis of his North African 
experience with this type of early attention, "We are treating 
exhaustion successfully; we are rescuing men from the frightful 
nightmares of mental fixations." 

These army methods point to an important lesson in overcom- 
ing fear effects. That is, root them out before they gain the status 
of a compelling habit. In the matter of fearful childhood impedi- 
ments, early action is equally essential. 

Ordinarily, many childish timidities will be overcome in the 
normal process of growing up. Unfortunately, some youngsters 
fail to shake off certain childish fears. These leave an emotional 
scar on the personality. With proper training they can and should 
be eradicated. 

One method of trying to root out frights is by talking them 
away. Verbalization is not usually effective with very young chil- 
dren. With the older person a patient, verbal explanation or 
assurance sometimes works. This brings to mind the anecdote 
about the old cockney who talked himself out of being scared 
while London was being blitzed. 

When asked if he was scared, the cockney replied: "Can't say 
as I am. Yer see, I count me chances. Jerry well, he's got to cross 
the Channel; that ain't too easy for 'im. Then he's got to git by the 
coast. Then comes the Thames Estuary. Then comes London 

Fear Neuroses in War and Peace 275 

well, he can't miss that; but then he's got to find 'ammersmith, 
then Acacia Road, then No. 87, and then most likely 111 be at the 

One should not try to drive out childish or adolescent appre- 
hensions by scolding, ridicule, punishment or forceful methods. 
The shame and ridicule techniques serve only to cause self doubt 
and implant feelings of inferiority in the bearer. Punishment is 
worse, and gives rise to obstinacy and spitefulness in the youngster 
who uses these reactions to get even. 

Forcing a child into a fear situation in order to overcome it, is by 
far the most harmful. While such a statement may seem superflu- 
ous to some, it is by no means unwarranted. I have seen many 
advocates of the sink-or-swim school literally applying their phi* 
losophy by forcing their shrinking charges into the surf. Some 
few of these children surmount their obstacle by this foolhardy 
method, but the vast majority are worse off for it. Many times in 
my experience as a teacher of swimming at summer resorts I have 
dealt with the unfortunate victims of this method. Sturdy young- 
sters and industrial tycoons are transformed into terror-stricken 
children again at the mere thought of going into the water. 

The first steps in teaching a non-swimmer adult are indeed 
psychological, as any instructor knows. After the water inhibition 
has been overcome by slow, pleasant, and confidence-instilling 
methods, progress in learning to swim advances by leaps and 
bounds. Anyone who ventures into the water voluntarily can 
learn to swim. 

A well-known method for attempting to remove an individual's 
apprehensiveness is for one or more persons to set an example 
showing lack of fear. With younger children, performing the dis- 
quieting act or calmly handling the object which is feared will 
often be sufficient. 

The procedure of positive conditioning or unconditioning a 
fear was demonstrated, by Professor John B. Watson. In this case 
three-year-old Peter was afraid of all furry objects. At first a rabbit 

276 Psychology for the Millions 

was kept in a cage in the same room with the child. On succeeding 
days it was brought closer and closer. Finally the child stroked the 
rabbit. With the disappearance of his fear of this animal, it was 
found that little Peter was no longer frightened by fur coats, 
feathers, and other furry objects. 

Overcoming fears by conditioning is probably the means most 
often applied in life situations. It is best effected by surrounding 
the fear situation with objects and circumstances that are ordi- 
narily very pleasing; or by easing the distasteful object into the 
fearful person's presence on a basis of comparison with something 
more objectionable. Frederick Van Ryn tells the story about Holly- 
wood director Cecile B. De Mille using this technique on Claudette 

During the filming of Cleopatra, the script called for Miss Col- 
bert to handle a snake in a suicide scene, which she refused to do. 
"I'll persuade her," said De Mille. When the great moment ar- 
rived he walked up to her with a six-foot live king snake coiled 
around his right arm. "No, no!" shrieked Colbert. "I wouldn't 
touch that horrible thing for a' billion dollars!" De Mille then 
produced from behind his back the diminutive snake that was to 
enact the role of the deadly asp. "Then how about this one?" he 
suggested. "Oh, that's different," cooed Colbert. "Why, this one 
is just a baby." And without further ado she grabbed it and 
played the scene. 

Still another way to alleviate a cause for timidity is to face it 
directly by yourself or with assistance. J. P. McEvoy tells about an 
organization in New York City, known as the Society of Timid 
Souls, who are using this direct approach to rid themselves of their 
soul-searing fears. The members consist of pianists, vocalists, 
actors, public speakers, and parlor entertainers who suffer from 
severely inhibiting stage fright. 

This unique group, who pay a fifty-cent weekly meeting dues, 
is organized and supervised as a sincere avocation by Bernard 
Gabriel, a well-adjusted, successful concert pianist. Mr. Gabriel 

Pear Neuroses in Wat and Peace 

knew that such veteran stage personalities as Helen Hayes, Cor- 
nelia Otis Skinner, and Al Jolson by their own admission still 
suffer from the tortures of stage fright before each performance. 
Despite this fact, he felt that something could be done to aid his 

The Curtis Publishing Co. 

"/j this your first appearance before a microphone, Miss Lorraine?' 9 

voluntarily enlisted victims of fearfulness. And his methods are 

The technique is simple. Each candidate confesses as to what 
causes the terror. A singer can't sing before intimate groups. A 
young pianist is afraid of forgetting. Another pianist can't stand 
being stared at. A speaker becomes tongue-tied when his audience 

Psychology for the Millions 

coughs. To each of these cases Mr. Gabriel and the entire group 
of some forty-odd give their full attention. 

The singer is made to sing while they all crowd close to him. 
A spotlight is focused on the girl who fears being stared at and 
everybody does just that while she plays for them. The speaker 
who can't stand coughing gives orations amidst much hacking, 
barking, and nose blowing. 

Although one of the timid souls complained that the cure was 
worse than the disease, most of them feel they have been benefited 
by the treatment. 

There is no single formula to be applied in overcoming all forms 
of dread. Everyone should learn that there are some fear situations 
he will have to face alone. No one will be able to take his place in 
them. At the same time it should be realized that there is no shame 
in fear. Many a fighting youth spends months of agony previous to 
his "baptism of fire" because he is afraid of being afraid. He would 
be helped by the knowledge that fear of bullets is a healthy fear. 
The ultimate aim in routing out an unwholesome emotional terror 
is to bring the fear-producing sensation under the control of reason. 

All phobias fall into the category of unreasonable fears. The 
victims suffer from a variety of converted or disguised emotional 
apprehensions. In them, an original fear has been associated with 
guilt or shame. It conceals some conflict, thwarting, or frustration. 
The original fear is repressed and becomes reconverted into some 
outward phobia. A phobia is thus defined as an exaggerated, 
unreasonable fear of some object, person, or situation. 

Children rarely have phobias. But ordinary childhood fears may 
be the basis for adult phobias. Unreasonable agitations should 
not be allowed to persist. A frank and open discussion of the fears 
of a youth or grown-up is a necessary step in bringing it to the 
surface. In so doing, the difficulty may be overcome. At least, it 
will tend to counteract the repression of the fear, from which state 
it might otherwise break through as a disguised personality blight 
in the form of a phobia, complex or obsession. 

Fear Neuroses in War and Peace 279 

However, adults with pathological fears of open spaces, con- 
fined rooms, heart failure, high places, mortal infection, impend- 
ing death, and such are in need of sound conscientious medical 
advice. I must emphasize the importance of obtaining sincere med- 
ical counsel. The victims of such fears are easy prey for charlatans, 
quacks and faith cures of every description. No individual should 
be submitted to the expense and tribulations of any psycho system, 
whether it be psychoanalysis or psycho-drama, without an impar- 
tial diagnosis from an unprejudiced medical or psychiatric clinic. 

The somewhat lengthy treatment accorded the subject of fear 
may seem out of proportion. In defense, I turn to a quotation from 
a recent book by a psychiatrist of the Bloodgood Foundation, 
Johns Hopkins University. He states: "Fear claims more victims, 
causes more suffering, injures more family circles, and costs the 
state and industry annually more money than cancer, tuberculosis 
and syphilis together." 

Devastating though they may be, fear neuroses are not the worst 
of mental afflictions. In the chapter that follows, we shall review 
the mental abnormalities classed as the psychoses by far the most 
widespread maladies ever to impair the efficiency of modern man. 




Dedicated to a better understanding of those on 
the inside by those who are not yet locked in. 



,ERSONALITY development is indeed complex; almost mys- 
teriously so. I say "almost mysteriously" because there are many 
aspects of personality formation that are yet shrouded by uncer- 
tainty. "Man the unknown" is a familiar phrase which reflects the 
uncharted depths of human behavior. It is with the most baffling 
personality problem of all mental deviation that this chapter is 
largely concerned. 

The most stupendous and tragic example of this personality 
mystery is represented by the annual toll of some one hundred 
thousand new cases of functionally insane persons. By "function- 
ally insane" we mean those who lose their reason, or become so 
distorted about reasoning or reality that they cannot carry on daily 
life affairs, yet they show no body or brain defect. In such unfor- 
tunates the disordered personality may take one or more of several 

We describe these disorders of personality by giving them psy- 
chological names. We speak of dcpersondization, splitting of per- 
sonality, multiple personality, and transformation of personality. 
In actuality the unfortunate victims of mental derangement 
usually show more than one such personality disorder. They 
manifest a variety of bizarre symptoms. They experience delu- 
sions; delusions of grandeur in which they believe themselves to 
be the Saviour or some supernatural being. In the Diary of Vaslav 

"Two-Gun" Crowley and Adolph Hitler 281 

Nijinsfy, written while this one-time world-famous ballet dancer 
was in the grip of that mental illness known as schizophrenia, he 
writes : "I am an animal with a mind. I am flesh but I do not come 
from flesh. God made flesh. I am God. I am God. I am God. . . . 
At lunch I broke a nut suddenly with the force of a giant. I am 
very strong, having a strong fist." This grandiose delusion of 
being God and strong as a giant is quite characteristic. 

Such individuals have delusions of persecution. They believe 
that police, gangsters, members of the opposite sex, or the very 
ones who love them most are trying to harm them. Quoting again 
from the Diary of the great dancer He says: "I feel a piercing 
stare from behind. I feel people want to harm me but I will not 
fight and my enemy will be disarmed. . . . Noticing that no one 
liked me, I pretended that I was disagreeable. I did not like 
Diaghilev, but lived with him; I hated Diaghilev from the first 
days of our acquaintance." Diaghilev was the dancer's closest 
friend and benefactor outside of his wife. Characteristically, the 
deranged dancer, in his deluded state, imagined that the Russian 
impresario was persecuting him. 

Hallucinations are common among the mentally confused per- 
sonalities. They hear non-existent voices and feel non-existent 
people attacking them. They will tell you of having been beaten 
during the night. They may show you imaginary or self-inflicted 
bruises. They see visions and feel parts of their body missing. They 
will walk up to you with a straight face and in a calm, serious voice 
say, "What's the use of living, I haven't any legs." 


Psychotic personalities are at once grotesque, fantastic and 
changeable. You may see them high as a kite one moment and 
in the depths of despair an hour later. They may babble like a 
brook one day and sit speechless the next. The same individual 
will hold a rational conversation with you perhaps the following 
day. Or else they may retain any one of their moods for an indefi- 

282 Psychology for the Millions 

nite period. Again, they are known to alternate their moods or 
poses over a period of weeks or months. 

In the throes of their mental illness, deranged persons will al- 
most always speak or write at one time or another of all the cultural 
elements that have ever been a thorn to man's existence. Their 
ranting will revolve about sex, love, power, politics, money, reli- 
gion, prostitution, and thievery. Let us take out of context a dozen 
lines from the Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky in which this condition 
is exceptionally well illustrated. 

From his demented depths Nijinsky writes: "Love will destroy 
the need for governing. I like the leadership of Wilson. I do not 
want my wife to die. I love her. . . . My wife will not go mad if 
I kill her mind. ... I am Christ's policy. I am Christ. I hate ridi- 
cule. I am not funny. ... In the streets of Paris I went in search 
of cocottes. I looked for a long time because I wanted the girl to 
be healthy and beautiful. ... I loved several cocottes every day. 
. . . I want to have millions in order to make the Stock Exchange 
tremble, I want to ruin the Stock Exchange." 

In these lines we see a typical illustration of the gamut of cul- 
tural tortures that afflicts the mind of the mentally unbalanced. 
We see the destructive processes of mental conflict and anguish 
that befuddles the sick mind in its blind, guilty groping between 
good and evil. Blocked, frustrated, and tortured, the individual 
loses control of his mind. He loses his grip and becomes irrespon- 
sible. Irrationality Nervous breakdown Psychosis Functional 
insanity call it what you will, although we know a little some- 
thing about it, science has not yet solved the basic cause of such 
extreme personality disorders. 

I have consciously used the term insanity as a synonym for men- 
tal derangement. The term insanity is said to be a legal one; 
"mental illness," "mental disease," or "functional psychosis" are 
the terms preferred for scientific use. But since the word "insane" 
is so widely used and understood by the public I shall employ it to 
mean "not-sane," which is its social connotation anyway. 

"Two-Gun" Crowley and Adolph Hitler 283 

Theories as to the cause of functional mental illness there are 
aplenty. Heredity, predisposition, biological disturbance, and 
childhood training are all blamed separately and collectively. 
Though we can describe and classify the major functional psycho- 
ses, we do not as yet have satisfactory answers to many important 
questions about them. 


Why does one woman become mentally unbalanced during her 
menopause while two thousand others go through it normally ? 
The insanity of the menopause period is termed involutional mel- 
ancholia. Many persons in the deep despair of melancholia will 
want to commit suicide. Others will imagine that they are dead. 
They will tell you the date, hour of the day, and means of their 

Most victims of melancholia have feelings of guilt and useless- 
ness. They fear that sexual impotence has occurred. But this is a 
groundless fear. For many women, as Walter Pitkin says, "Life 
begins at forty." They are able to enjoy the marital freedom of 
sexual intercourse without the fear of pregnancy. 

This menopause period is popularly referred to as "change of 
life." Technically speaking, the term menopause is applied to the 
cessation of the periodic menstrual flow in women. This men- 
strual cessation takes place sometime between the age of forty and 
fifty and stretches over a period of one to two years. It is usually 
attended by mild personality disturbances. In the extreme cases 
there is noted the so-called transformation of personality. 

In the popular mind, "change of life" is associated with women 
only. However, the masculine sex also experiences "change of life" 
or a climacteric period, as it is called. Few men, and even fewer 
women are aware of this important fact. The reason is probably 
due to the knowledge that men do not go through a menopause. 
Indeed they do not. That is, if we use the term menopause in its 
correct sense, which is, "a cessation of menstruation" and not the 

284 Psychology for the pillions 

"cessation of sex life," as some ill-informed writers have implied- 

When you say of a man in his fifties, "I don't know what's com- 
ing over him, he's so different," it is likely that he is passing 
through his climacteric period. That physical and sexual changes 
normally take place in men at this time is a fact that should be 
realized by all men and women. Foreknowledge in this field will 
save much human heartache. To this end, Marie Stopes has writ- 
ten a plain-speaking, readable book. Devoid of quackery, lurid 
sensationalism, or profound scientific jargon, the simplicity and 
directness of the book is mirrored in its title Change of Life in 
Men and Women. 

Some men during their climacteric will become irritable, anx- 
ious, and restless. Others will experience headaches, heart palpita- 
tions, sleeplessness, dizziness, depression, and slight forgetfulness. 
This usually passes off with a return to normalcy within a few 
months. As in the case of the female, there will be a very small per- 
centage who succumb to irrationality and are classed as suffering 
from "involutional melancholia." 

In his fifties even the most virulent male may experience a 
period of sexual inability that can last from a few months to pos- 
sibly a year or more. Uninformed wives wrongly accuse their 
mate of infidelity. This male lapse is generally temporary. It is 
usually followed by a return to sexual virility and fertility. In the 
case of the female, she will retain her enjoyment of the sex act 
(virility), but with the completion of the menopause she will be 
unable to become pregnant (fertility). 

The longevity of male sexual power has always been a subject 
of much interest and a source of some very funny oil-color stories. 
Sexual potency is in truth a variable characteristic among differ- 
ent men. Some will retain their virility but not their fertility on 
into old age. That is, they will be able to have an erection and in- 
dulge in sexual intercourse but without the ability to fertilize their 
mate because of a lack of spermatozoa in the ejaculatory fluids. 
Many cases are on record of men who have retained their fertility 

"Two-Gun" Crowley and Adolph Hitler 285 

until death at an extremely old age. A recent news brief in the 
New Yorf( Times is captioned: "Australian A Father At 94." The 
AAP dispatch from Melbourne continues: "The Rev. William 
Green, of Victoria, has become a father at the age of ninety-four. 
According to the 1941 birth statistics, he is the state's oldest father. 
The youngest is sixteen." 

Marie Stopes cites an authenticated case of virility past the age 
of 100 in a London man reported by the famous Dr. Harvey. She 
writes : "At the age of 120, John Parr married a widow with whom 
he was frequently in congress." It was stated that, "up to the age 
of 130 he could do any form of husbandry." A post mortem exami- 
nation performed at the age of 152 showed that "his genitals were 
unimpaired, serving not a little to confirm the report of his having 
undergone publick censure for his incontinency." 

In passing, Mrs. Stopes mentions that this nonagenarian ate lots 
of old cheese, milk, coarse bread and whey. "The latter an unsur- 
passed source of the vital minerals," remarks Mrs. Stopes. 

From such implications oyster and eggnog eating fiends arise. 
In truth, scientific investigation has never shown any positive 
relationship between these foods and sexual virility. 

No man should feel humiliated or despondent over his lack of 
virility or inability to complete the sex act with his wife during his 
climacteric period. Such inability is a normal occurrence. Aphro- 
disiacs, love potions, gland-grafts, and other forms of sex prolonga- 
tion have never been placed on a medically scientific basis of 
practice here in the United States. Probably, a method that is as 
good as any love potion, and surely more fun, is one practised in 
Paris during the sixteenth century. There, for a nominal fee, as 
reported by Dr. Hagen, to restore an elderly man to sexual potency 
they would put two nude, luscious virgins in bed with him. "It was 
important for the girls to remain virgin if the treatment was to 
succeed." The body contact was supposed to bring a return of 
virility. It usually proved to be a waste of talent. 

While science has not as yet discovered the secret for eternally 

286 Psychology for the Millions 

prolonging sexual power, much help can be obtained against the 
physical symptoms and psychological disturbances that accom- 
pany the "change of life" period. Modern medicine has immeas- 
urably reduced the strain of this "critical age" by the use of endo- 
crine gland extracts. As a mental health precaution, it is a wise 
procedure for men and women to place themselves under their 
doctor's care during the climacteric. 

Recent experiments have yielded a synthetic endocrine substance 
that can be taken by mouth. The dosage as prescribed by a doctor 
is now reasonably priced. It has been reliably shown to prevent 
the symptoms of hot and cold flashes, mental depression, sleepless- 
ness, and irritability suffered by both men and women during the 
"change of life" period. 

From all that has been said, it is thus obvious that the menopause 
personality-affects are associated with changes in secretions from 
the endocrine glands. Withal, we still have the mystery as to why 
one in two thousand persons will become mentally unbalanced 
during the period in which these changes are taking place while 
the others will retain their normalcy. If we say it is due to an en- 
docrine gland change, then the question remains: "What about 
the endocrine changes in the 1,999 normal persons?" And, al- 
though we cannot answer this question, preventive medical treat- 
ment will reduce the incidence of menopause mental disturbance. 


Why does one college youth develop schizophrenia in response 
to the struggles of adolescence, while others survive it ? Tjie name 
schizophrenia means split personality. It used to be termed "de- 
mentia praecox" to indicate its prevalence in younger persons. The 
new term more appropriately describes the condition in which 
the individual, in his mind, shuts himself off from reality to live 
in a world of his own. 

The schizophrenic behavior may take one of several fantastic 

"Two-Gun" Crowley and Adolph Hitler 287 

forms. One patient may assume a flaccid or a rigid stuporous state; 
another will rock his head, sway pendulously, or listen to a half 
dozen pocket watches day in and day out. Others are characterized 
by perpetual, silly laughter. Again, some will mutter to themselves 
all day long. In the early stages the schizophrenic shows hypochon- 
driasy, complexes, obsessions, and all kinds of compulsions. Later, 
these are replaced by a variety of grandiose and persecutory delur 
sions. The last stages of schizophrenia are usually marked by 
degenerative loss of personality and intellectual faculties. 

It is the opinion of psychiatrists that many criminals, hobos, 
prostitutes, cranks, eccentrics, and garret-artists suffer from what 
is known as the simple type of schizophrenia. In one recent inves- 
tigation in New York City the authorities rounded up more than 
one hundred derelicts sleeping on park benches, in the gutters, 
and on bar-room floors. It was found, upon medical diagnosis, that 
close to fifty percent of these were schizophrenics who belonged 
in mental hospitals. 

These persons are characteristically at odds with the world. 
There are many others like them whose insanity is unrecognized 
until it is too late to prevent the havoc they invariably create in a 
normal society. They live in an unreal world of phantasy or fanati- 
cism. Napoleon, even as a youngster, walked alone and was aloof 
from his schoolmates. In striving to achieve reforms for France 
he took a bloody path of conquest. Adolph Hitler, the paper- 
hanger, was tossed out of art school so he tied his frustrated mous- 
tache to politics. Beginning with a fanatic purge of Jews he led 
millions of innocents into the second World War massacre. Two- 
Gun Crowley killed countless victims as he and his band of gang- 
sters committed crimes in the United States during the thirties, 
On May 17, 1931, he murdered a policeman on Long Island in cold 
blood. A few hours later he was trapped in a West End Avenue 
apartment in New York City. While shooting it out with the 
police he wrote a letter addressed "To whom it may concern." 
With a smoking gun in one hand and a pen in the other, he wrote : 

288 Psychology for the Millions 

"Under my coat is a weary heart, but a kind one one that would 
do nobody any harm." 

Robespierre, the French schoolmaster, was a follower of Rous- 
seau's ideals. In a fanatic ambition to put them into practice he 
became France's ruthless executioner during the days of her Reign 
of Terror. It is ironic that Rousseau, the paragon of educational 
idealism, was himself hopelessly insane. 

Every one of these men, Napoleon, Hitler, Crowley and Robes- 
pierre have something in common. They are alike in the abnor- 
mal, inhuman role in which they finally cast their life. Yet all of 
them were probably blind to the utter horror of their murderous 
selves. Like Crowley they saw and felt only their beneficent heart. 
Murderous in action idealistic in thought. Such was their unrec- 
ognized, insane split personality. 


"They are taking Barney Murray to one of the violent wards. 
We other patients on the receiving ward are sorry to see Murray 
go. He has been such a likeable fellow; merry, pleasant, consider- 
ate and thoughtful of others and he never bothered one of us by 
telling us his troubles. He was such a very likeable fellow. 

"Now he has gone violent and they are taking him to Ward J. 

"We have known for three days that Murray was going off. His 
merry cheerfulness disappeared. He moped around moodily by 
himself, with that queer light of irrationality growing in his eyes. 
This morning he cracked. 

"He began talking to himself. He soaked a towel in water and 
tied it about his head. He gathered all the paper he could find or 
lug, tore it into fine bits and kept sifting these bits through his 
fingers as though he were mixing powders of different kinds. 

"He told us he was making a preparation to kill the cockroaches 
in the ward." 

This is a description of a manic depressive patient from the fas- 
cinating tale, Behind the Door of Delusion, written by Inmate 

"Two-Guff 9 Crowley and Adolph Hitler 289 

Ward 8.* The patient, Barney Murray, as described by the author, 
had gone into a state of degression from which he erupted into a 
typical manic or excited condition. 

In our exploration of these distorted personalities we again ask: 
Why does one man in a thousand go so completely berserk as to be 
termed a manic depressive ? This is a form of mental illness that 
takes its name from the fact that the person has mood swings 
which alternate from excited mania to melancholic depression. Or 
else the afflicted individual may manifest just one phase, such as 
irrational euphoria or depressed apathy. He may remain in either 
state for a protracted period of time and then return to normalcy, 

A characteristic of the manic depressive type of mental illness is 
that the sufferer frequently snaps out of his abnormal mental 
state spontaneously. The typical case history of such a patient is 
one of remissions and relapses. The number of attacks and remis- 
sions may be anywhere from one to ten. 

Being a mental ailment that does not lead to brain deterioration, 
we find many famous names associated with the manic depressive 
condition. Chopin, who wrote such enchanting music, is said to 
have been "possessed by a melancholy which went as far as in- 
sanity.'* Charles Lamb in early life had an attack of insanity. 

Writing to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, of whom it is said that 
he dreamed some of his best poems under the influence of 
opium and alcohol, Lamb said: "Dream not, Coleridge, of having 
tasted all the grandeur and wildness of fancy till you have gone 
mad." Describing Rousseau, Professor Cesare Lombroso writes: 
"The abuse of intellectual work, especially dangerous in a thinker 
whose ideas were developed slowly and with difficulty, trans- 
formed the hypochondriac into a melancholic, and finally into a 
maniac." Schopenhauer, the oft-quoted philosopher of the nine- 
teenth century, had several attacks of typical manic depressive in- 
sanity. In describing the most cynical of all philosophers Professor 

* In a personal communication from his brother, I was asked to credit by name, Marie 
Woodson with the authorship of this book. 

290 Psychology for the Millions 

Lombroso states: "All the characteristic symptoms of the various 
steps that lead up to insanity, the rapid passage from profound 
grief to excessive joy, may be found in Schopenhauer." 

Probably, the greatest figure of modern times to be afflicted by 
a manic depressive attack was Abraham Lincoln. It is common 
knowledge among his biographers that he suffered several spells of 
the depressive or melancholic phase of this illness. Discussing 
Lincoln's affliction in The Human Mind, Dr. Karl A. Menninger 
relates that, after the death of Ann Rutledge, Lincoln was inca- 
pacitated for months with melancholia. "Again in 1841 he was 
plunged into so deep a depression that he was taken by his friends 
into guarded seclusion at the advice of physicians, and all knives 
and dangerous instruments were removed from his reach." 

His wife's relatives, in fact, "frankly considered Lincoln in- 
sane," writes Dr. Menninger. And his law partner, Stuart, de- 
scribed him as a "hopeless victim of melancholia." As the well 
known psychiatrist states: "The possible consequences to this na- 
tion and to the world of this episode in Lincoln's life, had it been 
otherwise than so judiciously handled, are terrible to consider." 

It is clear from this array of men of genius: Chopin, Charles 
Lamb, Rousseau, Schopenhauer, and Lincoln, that attacks of manic 
depressive illness do not impair the individual's brain capacity. 
It is a disease of personality mood swings rather than one of in- 
tellectual damage. In the period of recovery after such an illness 
the person will think and write as clearly as his original intellect 

Walter Winchell in his daily column relates a rather amusing 
incident illustrating the mental acuity of one patient recently re- 
covered from a brief mental illness. As Winchell tells it: "A cer- 
tain New York State Senator, after a nervous breakdown and a 
holiday in a sanitarium, was pronounced hohky-dooly. ... He 
returned to the Senate at Albany, where he engaged in a hot debate 
the first day. 

"Two-Gun" Crowley and Adolph Hitler 291 

"During the debate, one of his opponents, forgetting the man's 
illness, lost his temper and yelled: * You're crazy.' 

"Pulling out his discharge certificate, Our Hero waved it and 
said: 'I can prove I'm sane can you?' " 


Why does a person suddenly lose his memory as to who he is or 
where he came from although he retains his ability to think and 
start life again? This forgetting one's complete past is termed 
Amnesia. It is not classed as a psychosis because the victim does 
not have to be institutionalized. It is rather termed a psychonett- 
rosis and is considered a form of hysteria. 

It has been included here because it represents the extreme form 
of what may be termed depersonalization, or a complete loss of 
personality. The condition is wonderfully illustrated in the story, 
Random Harvest. As portrayed in the recent motion picture, Ron- 
ald Coleman is a former member of British nobility who suffers 
a lapse of memory occasioned by his war experiences. He turns to 
a simple life of writing and marries the very pretty but middle- 
class Greer Garson. 

In this case of amnesia as in all others the paramount symptom 
is the person's complete loss of his personal identity. When the 
attack first comes on, the victim has no knowledge of his name, 
occupation, ability, or his past. His previous personality is a blank 
page to him. But his capacity to think anew has not been destroyed. 

Here we see somewhat of a parallel to the manic depressive and 
schizophrenic illnesses without the irrationality. As in the manic 
depressive, the intellect is not destroyed. Similar to the schizo- 
phrenic, there is a flight from the person's real identity into a new 
personality. Even the manic depressive shows this wishful think- 
ing of becoming someone else when in his delusions he imagines 
himself to be God, Napoleon or a great lawyer. 

I cannot resist the temptation to tell the sardonic story about 

292 Psychology for the Millions 

three wealthy psychotics in a sanitarium as it is related by Dr. Hans 
Zinsser in his very entertaining autobiography, As I Remember 
Him. The memory of these three patients stuck in Zinsser's mind 
because, as he states, "between them they enacted a satire on the 
civilization of our times which could not have been more effect- 
ively staged by Swift or Voltaire." Here is the story as Zinsser 
tells it: 

"There happened to be in the hospital, admitted within a few 
months of each other, three patients of well-to-do families who, 
before admission, had been engaged respectively in the law, in the 
wholesale fruit business, and in shipping. The lawyer had de- 
lusions of persecution, which, however, had not affected his profes- 
sional memory or technical knowledge. The merchant had the 
delusion that he owned all the dried apples in the world. The 
shipper thought, quite without justification in fact, that he had 
cornered all the world's steamship lines and was in practical con- 
trol of the globe's entire merchant marine. 

"A ilever young interne had considered these cases and, since 
there seemed no hope of permanent cure for any of the three, con- 
cluded that the poor fellows should be at least made as happy as 
possible. Accordingly, since all three of his patients were well off 
and their families quite willing to spare no expense, he brought the 
three together, furnished an office for them, and encouraged them 
to do business. A highly satisfactory arrangement resulted. 

"The fruit man kept books on enormous stocks, shipments, and 
sales of dried apples. The shipper agreed to carry these apples to 
all corners of the earth on his fleet; and the lawyer was kept busy 
drawing up contracts between them and attending to disputes 
that naturally arose in the course of this gigantic commerce. I 
found them, on numerous visits, exceedingly busy with accumu- 
lating files of transactions and records of great profits which made 
them all happy and complacent. They always received me with the 
ill-concealed impatience of men too busy with important affairs 
to have much time for idle conversation, but were never unwilling 

"Two-Gun" Crowley and Adolph Hitler 293 

to explain the world-wide expansion of the dried-apple business, 
especially when I consulted them about the possibility of opening 
some new market for this commodity in territories like Abyssinia 
or French Indo-China." 

Dr. Zinsser continues: "Soon after one of these visits to the hos- 
pital I attended a dinner at which there were present several bank- 
ers, a very wealthy manufacturer of buttons, and a corporation 
lawyer. They made the usual kind of speeches and when the but- 
ton manufacturer, who came last, was almost at the end of his dis- 
course, I had the misfortune to think of my three crazy men and 
was taken with such an uncontrollable impulse to explode into 
laughter that to save my dignity I had to make a quick exit. 
These men were spending this one short life vouchsafed them by 
Providence in exactly the same way as my three friends in the 
asylum. The only difference between them and my patients was 
that the latter seemed to enjoy their occupations, while these prin- 
ces of finance were worried and anxious." 

To return to our amnesia sufferer, it is his chosen lot to be better 
off than any of these victims of psychosis regardless of how happy 
or blissful an insane person may seem to be at any time. For in 
truth, the insane are not characteristically happy. Anyone who has 
really known mentally deranged persons must disagree with the 
armchair contemplations of a Colgate University psychologist who 
in his recently written article, The Sanity of Insanity, states: "The 
insane, of all people, are sane if we judge by the success of this 
great quest. As a group they are supremely happy. . . . The in- 
sane have simply learned best how to avoid pain and find pleas- 
ure." Have they ? Would this psychologist care to maintain that 
the involutional melancholic woman is happy, who is so depressed 
that she makes many attempts to end her life ? Is the paranoiac 
happy who does not deteriorate intellectually but who spends a 
lifetime in building up the systematic belief that he is being perse- 
cuted by his wife, a nurse, a doctor, a policeman, or a gangster ? Is 
the manic depressive happy who sometimes alternates weeks of 

294 Psychology for the Millions 

normalcy with periods of depressive silence? What kind of joy 
does he and a hundred thousand other intellectually preserved 
psychotics experience during the hours, days, and weeks of nor- 
malcy when they realize they are in the "nut house" or "booby 
hatch" as they themselves refer to their hospitals for the men- 
tally ill? 

More than just being happy, "the insane have solved life's prob- 
lem," says this Colgate University professor. And this is his reason- 
ing: "You wish wealth they have it. You seek power but this 
chap is Napoleon . . . He is so pleased with himself that in many 
cases he won't even waste time talking to you." 

Before anyone decides to seek a refuge of bliss through insanity 
I should like to recommend a few light reading, excellent books 
written by the former insane describing their mental anguish and 
torture. Such books as A Mind That Found Itself, Asylum, Behind 
The Door of Delusion, Mind Mislaid, and Reluctantly Told should 
make anyone change his mind about the "sanity of insanity," in- 
cluding the Colgate University author whose article may be found 
in the Scientific American and the Reader's Digest. 

Before going off on the tangent to argue against the blissf ulness 
of insanity, it was stated that the amnesia victim is better off than 
any of the psychotics. The reason is not due to his being any hap- 
pier than they to begin with, but rather that, although he loses his 
identity, he gains another one in which he is rational and can be 
self-supporting in a normal society. It is characteristic that the am- 
nesia victim takes on a new life which is in opposition to his pre- 
vious circumstance. 

14 years, Former University Faculty Member Has Been Discov- 
ered as a Laundry Driver." So reads a newspaper caption in a 
recent issue of the New Yor]^ Times. The article continues "A 
laundry truck driver who said that his mind was perfectly blank 
about much of his life since 1930 identified himself to Hartford 
police as John A. Commons, 53, formerly in the faculty at the Uni- 

"Two-Gun" Crowley and Adolph Hitler 295 

versity of Wisconsin and listed as missing for fourteen years and 
legally declared dead in 1938." 

This case of John A. Commons is typical of amnesia victims of 
long standing. It seems that in their new life they generally choose 
a more simple occupation with fewer responsibilities, conflicts, and 
strivings. There is little doubt that amnesia is a form of escape 
from reality. That it is a type of hysterical conversion also seems 
well established. Just as the victim, who comes down with a hys- 
terical paralysis of his arm, has no wilful control over the function 
of the arm, so too the amnesia victim seems to suffer a paralysis for 
memory of past events* 

In the same manner that the hysterical paralytic miraculously 
regains his sight, hearing, locomotion, or use of his arm, the am- 
nesia victim often experiences a spontaneous return to his former 
self with a complete lapse of his interim personality. In Random 
Harvest, to entangle and so enhance the love interest, author 
James Hilton has Ronald Coleman regain his original memory 
after he is happily married to Greer Garson in his second person- 
ality. But in his own way, the originator of Shangri-La provides 
the happy ending. He puts Greer Garson . Why should I tell you; 
read the book. 

Involutional melancholia, schizophrenia, manic depressive psy- 
chosis, and hysteria are by far the most sinister manifestations of 
personality complexity. Within them are contained practically all 
the abnormal symptoms of personality distortion that afflict hu- 
mans. Though we give these and other functional ailments names, 
classify them, and describe the presumably typical characteristics 
of each, it should not be thought that they fall into neatly arranged 
bookish types. * 

The various functional as well as organic mental ailments over- 
lap and intertwine in a multitude of common symptoms. The 
classifications are only convenient pigeonholes and handles needed 
by the scientific professions to help in studying, talking, and writ- 
ing about these conditions. There are a host of psychological al> 

296 Psychology for the Millions 

normalities under the categories of organic psychoses, psychoneu- 
roses, psychasthenias,neurasthenias,psychopathic states, and others 
which have not been included in this discussion. For our purposes 
they are beyond the scope of this book. A rather complete treat- 
ment of these disorders is contained in the recently written Hand- 
boo\ of Psychiatry by Drs. Lichenstein and Small. It is devoted 
entirely to the abnormal. The reader will find this book slightly 
technical, but rather informative. A more popular treatise empha- 
sizing the abnormal is Menninger's, The Human Mind. 


It is a peculiar state of affairs that in this era of psychological 
newspaper-columns, insanity in a family is hidden like drying 
underwear, when the neighbors walk in. This naive state is even 
more incomprehensible when you consider that there is prac- 
tically "one in every family." That statement is not a journalistic 
exaggeration. Reliable figures show that one in every twenty per- 
sons have spent or will spend some part of their lifetime in the 
shade of mental ailment. And if you seek among your grandpar- 
ents, aunts, uncles, and first-cousins the law of averages will place 
"one in your family too." 

Scientific research on the nature and cause of mental abnor- 
mality has been greatly hampered because of a medieval social 
stigma that has grown up around mental disease. Instead of re- 
garding it as an ordinary ailment with which humans are un- 
happily met, it is hushed up and hidden with the shameful family 
heirlooms. It is disguised by such euphemistic names as "nervous 

The greatest benefit that we can render to the mentally ill and 
the members of their family is to regard insanity as we regard 
other human ailments. One vain attempt in this direction is a 
movement on the part of the profession to eliminate the word "in- 
sanity" from scientific literature. They point out that the term 
"insanity" is a legal one meaning "certifiable" in a legal sense. I 

"Two-Gun" Crowley and Adolph Hitler 297 

say, it is a vain attempt because no matter what term you use, the 
same picture will still be there. The popular mind will substitute 
its own gems. "Nuts," "cracked," "balmy," "breezy," "loco," 
"touched," "whoops," and "wacky," are but a few synonyms that 
are used interchangeably to imply that one is "off the beam." 

To achieve in the public mind the correct attitude toward men- 
tal imbalance it is preferable that we educate all to a proper under- 
standing of it. When we come to think and speak of insanity as 
we would an attack of grippe, or a broken leg, we will have at- 
tained a huge stride in its successful treatment and prevention. 

Society does not speak in hushed tones about physical illness. 
Why then the skeleton-in-the-closet attitude toward mental ill- 
ness ? True, there was a time when the insane were thought to be 
imbued with demons and they were beaten in order to drive the 
devil out of them. But on the other hand Margaret Mead tells us 
that the aborigines of Siberia dignify the insane as high priests 
whose utterances are regarded as prophetic inspirations. And are 
not hordes of civilized peoples this very day blindly following fa- 
natics of dubious mental timbre upon whom they endow their life's 
savings in the hope of finding Heaven on earth? 

Surely insanity is not shunned because it is thought to be heredi- 
tary. Diabetes is hereditary and few people feel shame about stating 
that their mother or father suffers from diabetes. Why then should 
there be any shame or inhibition attached to the fact that one's 
father, mother or brother is or was mentally ill ? 

The circumstances surrounding mental illness are the same as 
that for a bodily ailment. In some situations mental deviation is 
due to poor childhood training, unfortunate family conditions, or 
serious physical or environmental accidents. In other cases it is an 
undeniable result of physical and biological heritage. We contract 
diphtheria, syphilis, and cancer from the same combination of 
causes. Our attitude toward mental ailments should be no differ- 
ent than it is toward physical ailments. And the New York State 
Senator, who oroved his sanitv bv waving in his oooonent's face his 

298 Psychology -for the Millions 

discharge papers from a mental sanitarium, has done his bit in 
helping to establish a wholesome attitude toward mental illness. 


As is true of any disease whose cause and cure is not established, 
a great many unproven beliefs have grown up around the subject 
of mental ailment. For example, it is maintained in many quarters 
that the fear, of insanity hastens and even brings on mental de- 
rangement. Those who hold this view search the biographies of 
the mentally ill and point to their overt expressions of fear about 

Time and again it has been illustrated that the many celebrated 
figures of the world who ended their days in derangement were 
uniformly worried about becoming insane. Robert Schumann, the 
great composer, it is written, voiced his fear of being sent to a "luna- 
tic asylum" at the age of twenty-three. At forty-six he died in a 
private asylum at Bonn. Of Swift, Professor Lombroso writes: 
"The inventor of irony and humor, predicted even in youth that he 
would die insane, as had been the case with a paternal uncle." 
When he die4 "in a state of complete dementia he left a will of 
11,000 to a lunatic asylum." Nicolaus Lenan, one of the great 
European poets of the nineteenth century, wrote to his sister at the 
age of twenty-nine: "The demon of insanity riots in my heart; I am 
mad." He died in the asylum of Dobling, Vienna, at forty-eight. 
Schopenhauer, Lincoln, and Nijinsky are quoted as expressing 
anxiety about their sanity before and during their mental break- 

There can be little doubt that worry or anxiety over mental 
health is most unhealthy. However, at the stage when these men, 
who eventually suffer mental imbalance, openly express their fear 
of insanity, such expression is just as likely to be a symptom as a 

In the same manner it had been maintained for a century that 
over-indulgence in masturbation leads to insanity. This erroneous 

"Two-Gun" Crowley and Adolph Hitler 299 

concept arose because it was observed that indiscriminate mastur- 
bation was quite prevalent among the insane. Within the last 
twenty years medicine and scientific psychology have corrected 
the error and hold that no one has been known to become insane 
as a direct result of excessive masturbation. 

However, some writers have glibly tagged on their own ad- 
denda. Without the benefit of any proof better than armchair 
logic, they state in a hundred books that individuals may lose their 
sanity worrying about the insanity attendant upon excessive mas- 

This brings us back to the unfounded statement that anxiety 
about insanity causes insanity. This is doubtful. It will take more 
than anxiety over insanity to cause insanity. It is probable that 
every normal person has at one time or another been fearful lest 
he become insane. Until those who hold the opposite view can 
prove their point by an experimental study, it is more accurate to 
believe that a morbid fear of insanity is a symptom of mental 
weakness rather than a cause of it. Note that I said "a morbid fear 
of insanity." You must bear in mind that an occasional or passing 
anxiety about mental abnormality is normal. 

For more than fifty years it has been asserted that insight into 
their mental distortion is a valuable cure for the mentally unstable. 
This idea of giving insight is based on the theory that, if an indi- 
vidual who is having mental troubles, is made to understand the 
nature and origin of his mental disturbance, then the condition 
will be relieved or the cure assisted by reason of this understanding. 
Perhaps it will. But any psychiatrist can name a hundred intellec- 
tual superiors who understand the academic basis for their own 
neuroses or psychoses yet are helpless to rid themselves of their 
foolish, emotionally inhibited tortures. 

William Ellery Leonard, recently deceased, confined his daily 
life for more than twenty years to the radius of the University of 
Wisconsin campus where he taught. This, because of a neurotic 
fear of locomotives and strange places. He dates his neurosis to the 

300 Psychology for the Millions 

time when as a child he was frightened by the shrieking noise of 
a thundering train. He has described and analyzed his peculiar 
phobia in his autobiography, The Locomotive God, in which he 
ascribes his condition to fear of insecurity. Despite the man's ap- 
parent intelligence and psychological insight, the grip of his dis- 
torted emotions held him a virtual prisoner to the confines of the 
college campus except for a few sorties when it was very necessary 
for him to travel, and then he would always have to be accom- 
panied by close friends. 

Yet, despite theoretical insight, emotional anomalies are difficult 
to fathom and even more difficult to disgorge. And the closer it is 
to home, the more shrouded its comprehension seems to become. 
Just as love is blind, and as the moralist is blind to his own immo- 
rality, so too the insane are blind to their own insanity. However, 
the most tragic situation of a lack of comprehension about cause, 
cure, and manifestation of insanity is that which is present among 
the loved ones close to the mentally afflicted. ^ 

The family members of a mental patient will plague themselves 
or blindly blame innocent friends for the mental breakdown of 
their kin. Romola Nijinsky, wife of the great dancer, writes in the 
preface to the Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky : "I am convinced that had 
he found more understanding, more gentleness, among those who 
surrounded him including myself, he would still be with us. ... 
Seeing his fellow artists, the members of the Russian Ballet, an- 
tagonistic, he did not find understanding among those he helped 
to attain fame and success, through his extraordinary talent, vision- 
ary creations and unceasing efforts. They considered him a simple- 
tori and called him DumbelL" 

Mrs. Nijinsky, who wrote an entire book on her husband's life, 
should know better than to blame herself or her friends for her 
husband's ailment. In the eyes of his fellow artists, Nijinsky prob- 
ably did act like a simpleton. Does he not in his Diary confess to 
openly chasing prostitutes on the streets of Paris ? A wiser man 
would have been less obvious about his appetites. 

"Two-Gun" Crowley and Adolph Hitler 301 

In the very words of his wife, Nijinsky had an "incorporeal sen- 
sitive nature." The greatest praise his wife can bestow upon him is 
that he brought success to his fellow artists "through his extraor- 
dinary talent." She could not say of him that he brought success 
to them by helping them. He didn't. His nature wouldn't permit 
it. In his Diary he admits that "he would teach no one his great 

The functionally insane like Nijinsky are characteristically ego- 
centric, selfish persons. It is a vicious cycle. They, more than others, 
need sympathy and understanding. But their self-centered nature 
is such as to repel the very love and friendship they require. Nor 
can we be sure that they would not succumb if given this much- 
needed sympathy and understanding. But we can at least give the 
family and friends an understanding so that they will not blindly 
and bitterly cast aspersions upon themselves and friends. 

The poor attribute their son's mental ailment to family poverty. 
The rich blame their insanity on a lack of opportunity to become 
self-sufficient. Atheistic parents ascribe an offspring's mental illness 
to a lack of religious faith. Orthodox families blame the catas- 
trophe on too great an insistence upon religious adherence. Moth- 
ers who have been strict with their psychotic daughters blame 
sexual repression. Liberal minded mothers attribute a daughter's 
mental aberration to sexual excesses. And so it goes. 

In a vain effort to atone for these would-be shortcomings, the 
family drags the incipient mental case hither and yon. The male 
is taken to a woman. The female is given a man. The faithless are 
exposed to Christian Science. The poor are given money. The rich 
are put to work. The melancholic mother is sent to relatives for a 
rest. Some are sent to farms, others to hypnotists, fakirs, healers 
and psychoanalysts. And a psychoanalyst, if he is reputable, will 
not handle a psychotic case. The last place the patient is taken, is 
the place he should be taken to first the state hospital for the men- 
tally ill or a reputable private sanitarium. 

In this connection it is pertinent to note that the greatest success 

302 Psychology for the Millions 

in the treatment of psychotic patients by the shock therapies (in- 
sulin, electro-shock, metrazol) is obtained with patients whose 
illness is of six months duration or less. Some reports indicate as 
high as 75% recovery in early treated cases. For those who have 
the financial means, electro-shock and insulin shock treatments for 
psychotic patients are now given by reputable psychiatrists in their 
private office practice. The advantage of this procedure lies in its 
avoidance of subjecting the individual to the surroundings of a 
state hospital or a mental sanitarium. These benefits have truly 
never been scientifically evaluated, except that on a common- 
sense basis it is thought to be better for a patient's morale if he can 
avoid being institutionalized. That this procedure is better for the 
family's morale and mental state is undoubtedly true. 

State hospitals for the mentally-ill are no longer prison-like. 
They are hospitals specializing in the care of mental diseases. 
Patients are never kept any longer than is necessary. Yet, at times 
families will wish to take patients home too early. The authorities 
will refuse to permit it. The hospital authorities are acting in the 
best interest of the family and afflicted. They get no extra pay for 
having more patients. Those hospitals are overcrowded and under- 
staffed and the workers are grossly underpaid. The authorities are 
only too happy to discharge a socially adjusted patient. 

The family of a mental patient might well be spared their self- 
accusations and perambulations. In most instances in which a full 
blown functional insanity occurs, which is not directly related to 
any major precipitant shock, it is likely that a childhood or innate 
bodily or temperamental weakness existed. The victim of the 
mental illness can nicely forego all the futile activity prior to 
sound medical attention. But regardless of anyone's advice, the 
family will temper their conscience and waste their money by in- 
evitably trying all the futilities in the form of a variety of charla- 
tans. But if nothing comes of this activity, as nothing will in the 
case of a true functional insanity, the family should send their 

"Two-Gun" Crowley and Adolph Hitler 303 

charges to a modern mental state hospital or a reputable private 
sanitarium specializing in the treatment of nervous diseases. 

While this may seem to be a pessimistic view it is a realistic one. 
This discussion was undertaken for an original purpose. That is, 
to shift the emphasis of giving insight into mental weakness from 
those who are mentally ill to those who are well but likely to be- 
come mentally afflicted. This does not imply that we must for- 
sake the current practice of attempting to give insight to those 
who are already abnormal. It does mean, however, that mental 
hygiene, or the science of protection against mental ill health, 
should be given greater emphasis. 

It is this writer's belief that insight, or the understanding of 
mental distortions, has its greatest benefit in protection against dis- 
turbance rather than in its cure. 


Because insanity has been treated as a taboo, educated individ- 
uals, persons in high places, and those who should know better, 
like Mrs. Nijinsky, are ignorant of its meaning and implications. 
John or Jack Barrymore as he was christened, worried about his 
own sanity through a great part of his life because of the knowl- 
edge that his actor-father, Maurice, spent his last years in a mental 
sanitarium. As his biographer, Gene Fowler, tells it in Good Night, 
Sweet Prince: "The bleak overtones of this breaking of his par- 
ent's reason never quite died away in Jack's thoughts. It echoed, 
knell-like, again and again in after years to plague his soul; and 
toward the end of his own life provoked the only discernible fear 
in an otherwise exceptionally brave character." 

Had Barrymore but had an understanding grasp of the origin 
of insanity he might not have been so fearful of his own fate. It 
is probable that he interpreted too literally the exaggerated idea 
on the inheritance of insanity which was the main theme of the 
Bill of Divorcement in which Barrymore starred in one of his 

304 Psychology for the Millions 

early screen roles. Let us consider the knowledge about the oc- 
currence of insanity that John Barrymore should have had. 

For more than a hundred years psychologists, psychiatrists, and 
doctors have labored to learn whether or not functional insanity is 
hereditary. That is, the so-called functional psychosis for which 
no bodily or organic cause is found. The work of these researchers 
has been much hindered by the fact that families, through mis- 
placed shame, are loath to give accurate histories of the occurrence 
of mental illness among relatives. Despite many research efforts, 
their conclusions thus far are indefinite. 

According to present-day information no conscientious scien- 
tist has been able to prove by statistics that functional insanity 
follows any definite laws of heredity. On the other hand, no one 
has been able to incriminate environment as the sole cause of 
functional insanities. For in every case where one individual be- 
came insane, there were others subjected to the identical environ- 
ment who were not so affected. What then is the answer? 

Current scientific opinion regards insanity as a resultant of 
both heredity and environment. The heredity is spoken of as pre- 
disposing factors. These exist in the physical, biological, intellec- 
tual, temperamental, and glandular make-up. Where such weak- 
nesses exist, environmental upheavals, conflicts, or major thwart- 
ings are considered the precipitating causes of the personality 
breakdown, as it is seen in the insane. 

The tragic and much publicized insanity of Vaslav Nijinsky, 
diagnosed as schizophrenia, is an excellent example of mental 
breakdown attended by these forces. He inherited a family weak- 
ness in temperament and suffered emotional tragedy in childhood, 
adolescence, and manhood. As a child he had seen his father de- 
sert his mother for a young ballet dancer. Later he saw his brother 
committed to an asylum for the insane. While a student at the 
Imperial School he watched his mother live in poverty. Because 
of his sensitivity and over-zealous ambition he did not enjoy the 
normal comradery of his fellow-members of the Russian Ballet. 

"Two-Gun" Crowley and Adolph Hitler 305 

Such was the heritage and mental strife that characterized the 
superb dancer's life. 

This combination of hereditary weakness, early family tragedy, 
sensitive personality, driving ambition, and self-centeredness is 
the prototype of the psychotic personality. The all important ques- 
tion that you now ask is: "How might such an individual be 
saved from mental breakdown?" 

Neither psychiatry nor any other branch of science can truth- 
fully supply a ready answer. The theory is to give insight and 
educate those around him. These have been the views presented 
in this chapter. Most present-day psychological opinion would 
agree with these views. That is, the mentally unstable individual 
can be helped by insight into personality formation and by an 
understanding of mental illness on the part of the populace at 

Toward the achievement of an enlightened attitude about men- 
tal illness this chapter has been devoted. Or as better expressed by 
Marie Woodson, author of Behind the Door of Delusion, this 
chapter is: 

"Dedicated to a better understanding 
of those on the inside by those who 
are not yet locked in." 




/HE story is told in the Decameron about King Agilulf of 
Lombardy who, on returning home late one night suspected that 
a prowler had recently left Queen Theodelinda's room. Assuming 
the thief to be a member of the household staff, the king immedi- 
ately went to the servants' sleeping quarters. He listened cautiously 
to every man's heart. One was pounding like a trip hammer. 
Not wishing to create a scene and disturb the entire household, 
Agiluf marked the man for identification by cutting off a bunch 
of his hair. Aware that he had been labeled for a quiet death 
on the morrow, the culprit saved himself by taking shears and 
marking all of his fellow servants in the same manner. No longer 
able to identify the guilty man, the king had to drop the matter. 

The king's action was based on knowledge. The knowledge that 
an individual who had recently committed a crime would give 
himself away by his emotional upheaval. The servant's maneuver, 
however, was an example of intelligent thinking. Faced with an 
entirely new problem, one he had never encountered before, the 
suspect had only his wits to take him out of his predicament. These 
he used to good advantage by his novel solution. 

Though his talents were misguided, it is clear that the marauder 
was possessed of a quality of mind that would be characterized as 
intelligent. In the vernacular, he would be considered "a smart 
crook." To us who are interested in the psychology of intelligence, 
several questions arise. To what extent does this type of smartness 

Quiz Kids and Phi Beta Kappa Men 307 

prevail in a man's make-up ? That is, would he be just as resource- 
ful in working himself out of a mechanical trap ? Suppose he had 
to talk his way out of the difficulty, would his solution have been 
just as glib? 


These questions inquire into the concept of intelligence. Al- 
though there are varying theories, modern psychology is inclined 
toward the idea that there are different kinds of intelligence which 
might best be called aptitudes. One of the first men to offer this 
theory was the venerable Professor L. Thorndike of Columbia 
University. He suggested that intelligent behavior may be roughly 
classified into three kinds: mechanical, social, and abstract. 

Mechanical intelligence includes skill in manipulating tools and 
gadgets and managing the working of machines. Social intelli- 
gence is represented by the understanding of people and the abil- 
ity to act wisely in human relations. Abstract intelligence is made 
up of the ability to handle symbols and ideas such as words, num- 
bers, formulae, and scientific principles. 

If we consider the inclinations of acquaintances or outstanding 
personages, the idea of different types of intelligence becomes 
more apparent. It permits of an Einstein, whose theories of "rela- 
tivity" represent the very highest degree of genius in abstract 
thinking. Yet who, socially, could hardly be considered as gifted. 
The impressions of the artist, S. Jean Wolf, describe the Professor 
as a grown man who is adored and practically babied by his wife. 

In contrast to the Princeton mathematics professor would stand 
such an individual as William S. Knudsen, president of General 
Motors, who has been described as "a production genius." Hardly 
a master of mathematics or physics, the self-made executive capi- 
talized on his mechanical and organizational talents. These he 
developed by starting out in America as an ordinary bench hand 
and machinist at the age of twenty. 

The flowering of social intelligence is seen at its zenith in those 

308 Psychology for the Millions 

public figures who usually dominate in the entertainment world. 
Such men as P. T. Barnum, Tex Rickard, and Sam H. Harris at- 
tained stupendous promotional heights by their grasp and under- 
standing of the social mind and tastes of the public. Theirs was a 
brand of intelligent genius unattended by excellence in mathe- 
matics or mechanics. 

The separation of intelligence into groups such as mechanical 
and social is arbitrary of course. Within each group there may be 
certain talents that far exceed others. In abstract work, for in- 
stance, some individuals are known to be number-minded while 
relatively poor at languages. In the case of Einstein, his son-in-law 
relates that while the scientist learned geometry and calculus by 
himself as a boy, he did not shine in Latin and Greek. 

Such instances, however, are exceptions to what is generally 
found. On the whole, a person's aptitudes are more likely to be 
uniform within a particular group. At the same time there is a 
tendency toward similar levels even from one group to another. 


When individuals show a versatility of talent they will be found 
to excel in that turn of mind designated as abstract intelligence. 
We might describe them as thinkers. They have unusual ability in 
such qualities as logical reasoning, visualization, imagination, 
mathematical reasoning, verbal comprehension, ingenuity, mem- 
ory, and judgment. These are the traits that are included in school- 
room tests of general intelligence. In fact the intelligence quotient 
(I. Q.), is really a measure of this type of intelligence. 

Think of the I. Q. then, as a special type of aptitude for original 
thinking, or the ability to solve new problems, or the capacity to 
learn, and you will have an accurate picture of what the teacher 
or psychologist means by general intelligence. 

So much ado has been made about the I. Q. and what it im- 
plies, that it deserves more than passing attention. Of all the per- 
sonality traits that psychologists have tried to measure, the great- 

Quiz Kids and Phi Beta Kappa Men 309 

est success has been achieved in the matter of the I. Q. Despite 
this, there exists in the public mind a wealth of prejudice and mis- 
information about it. Careless commercializers are to blame for 

Daily newspaper columns offer "intelligence tests" that repre- 
sent anything but scientific truth. In the New Yor^ Daily News, 
one George W. Crane, M.D. and Ph.D., offers a daily "Intelligence 
Test." In the test for Sept. 26, 1944 as the first "problem" you are 
to tell whether "A group of newborn pigs is referred to as a: Herd, 
Drove, Covey, or Litter." Problem 2 asks: "Which of these plants 
usually makes a girl's pulse rate zoom: Rhubarb, Mistletoe, Iris, 
or Holly?" 

Reading this, one would be inclined to ask, is it a sign of intelli- 
gence to know that a pack of newborn pigs is called a litter? Or 
that Mistletoe will make the pulse rate zoom? Of course not. Nor 
would any sincere psychologist ever pretend to measure intelli- 
gence by such items as are obviously linked to special knowledge. 

The point about this test and others like it, is that they are, in 
truth, enjoyable, challenging little educational games. The public 
wants them, that's why the newspapers carry them. If they were 
labeled as such, there would be no harm done and everybody 
would be happy. Magicians don't mutilate each other's tricks. 
Actors do graceful take-offs on one another. Why can't the parlor 
psychologist keep his nose clean ? 


Now that I have indicated what is not an intelligence test, it 
might be well to tell how intelligence is measured scientifically. 
Standardized intelligence tests try to measure, not how much you 
know, but how easy or difficult it will be for you to acquire knowl- 
edge. In theory, the best test of intelligence would include no 
material based on anyone's previous experience. Since this is well 
nigh impossible the next best thing is to use items which everyone 
has had an opportunity to learn. For the most part, tests for chil- 

3io Psychology for the Millions 

dren arc based on the skills taught in the grammar school. Since 
they have all been exposed to the same material the tests are a 
fair measure. 

One of the first successful intelligence tests was constructed by 
a Frenchman, Alfred Binet. His original scale has been enlarged 
and revised so that it stands today as the famed Stanford-Binet 
test of intelligence. Here are some items from the 1908 Binet test 
which shows what was considered average performances for chil- 
dren at age levels three and seven. 

Age Three 

1. Child is asked to point to nose, eyes, mouth 

2. Child repeats two numbers 

3. Gives last name 

4. Enumerates objects in a picture 

5. Repeats sentence of six syllables 

Age Seven 

1. Child tells what is missing in unfinished pictures 

2. Knows number of fingers on each hand without counting 

3. Child copies a diamond 

4. Repeats five numbers 

5. Counts 13 pennies 

6. Knows names of four common coins 

The up-to-date form of this intelligence test scale is the best of 
its kind. It must be given by an experienced examiner who sits 
across the table from the child and can only test one youngster at 
a time in a period of one to two hours. 

There are many pencil and paper tests that have been devised 
for use with large groups which can be given by teachers or any- 
one else who can be a trusted monitor. These tests usually include 
items that call for original thinking, a bit of ingenuity, logical rea- 
soning, and other mental tasks for which a person can't prepare 

Quiz Kids and Phi Beta Kappa Men 311 

too well by studying. Here are some examples of test items that 
are used. 

(1) Reasoning by analogy: 

sty is related to blue as grass is related to: 
table green warm big 

(2) Common sense reasoning: 

Gold is more suitable than iron for money because: 

gold is pretty 

iron rusts 

gold is scarcer and more valuable 

(3) Number series completion: 

Decide how the numbers in each series go and then write the 
next two numbers 


i 4 9 16 

(4) Following Directions: 

If the difference between 24 and 31 is greater than the differ- 
ence between 19 and 27 write in the margin "a," if less write "b," 
if it is the same write "c." Ans 

(5) Comprehension of thought: 

Explain the meaning of the following proverb: 
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. 

(6) Ingenuity: 

* You wish to measure out exactly four gallons of gasoline 
from an open 100 gallon drum. All you have is two cans, 
one a 3 gallon can and the other a 5 gallon can. How will 
you measure out exactly 4 gallons? 

(7) Logical reasoning: 

Tom runs faster than Jim 
Jack runs slower than Jim 
Which is the slowest of the three ? 

3i2 Psychology for the Millions 

The above are but a few sample items that have appeared on 
various intelligence tests. If given under proper conditions such 
tests as, Dr. Otis' Group Intelligence Scale, the Kulilmann-Ander- 
son Intelligence Tests, Dr. Baker's Detroit Intelligence Tests, the 
California tests of Mental Maturity and a host of others will yield 
an excellent measure of intelligence for persons who have had 
schooling. There are many performance tests by Professors Pintner 
and Patterson that can be given to persons who haven't been to 
school or who are unfamiliar with the language. Modifications 
of these truly wonderful measuring rods were applied with huge 
success in the "greatest quiz program in the world" the Army 
classification tests, administered to eleven million men. 

Die-hards who would criticize the efficiency of intelligence tests 
should have a talk with the Adjutant General's Office of the 
U. S. Army who staked their all on the testing program outlined 
by psychologist Walter V. Bingham. 

I might say here and now that all psychologists agree that stand- 
ard intelligence tests really measure general intelligence as repre- 
sented by the I. Q. And when all psychologists agree on something, 
that's a thing to write home about. 

In making up an intelligence test, hundreds of questions are 
originally used. Those which do not discriminate are discarded. 
The final test is standardized on thousands of children at every 
age level from all kinds of cities, towns, and villages; in the moun- 
tains and in the valleys; in the country and in the city. In this way 
we learn what the average child at each age should be able to do. 
The results are then set up as "norms" or standards by age levels. 
The average at each age level is taken as an I. Q. score equal to 100. 


A quotient, as you have forgotten from arithmetic, is the result 
of a division. Hence the intelligence quotient (I. Q.) represents 
the ratio between a person's mental age divided by their actual or 

Quiz Kids and Phi Beta Kappa Men 313 

chronological age, as it is called. The mental age is the age level 
scored on an intelligence test. For example, if a bright lad of ten 
passes all the tests that are considered average for a twelve-year- 
old, he is said to have a mental age of twelve. The I. Q. is then rep- 
resented by: -> -J.ILJ multiplied by 100 to give an I. Q. 

10 (actual age) 

equal to 120. To take another example: if a dull child of ten gets 
a score equal to that of an eight-year-old, he is said to have a men- 
tal age of 4 His I. Q. would then be represented by : / C V { 

10 (actual age) 

multiplied by 100 to give an I. Q. equal to 80. 

In computing the I. Q. for adults, the denominator age is usually 
taken as 15. The reason for this is that tests show that yearly in- 
creases in basic powers, such as memory for digits, visual imagina- 
tion, and abstract thinking, are practically zero after the age of 
fifteen. It is difficult to believe, but the facts indicate that you arc 
as alert and acute in your thinking at the age of fifteen as you 
will ever be. Moreover, a good intelligence test will yield about 
the same I. Q. when you are six as when you are sixteen. As yet, 
tests for children below the age of six, except for the extremely dull 
or the extremely bright, are not too valid. But theoretically, except 
for the falling off with approaching senility, you are as intelligent 
when a day old as when you are thirty. 


Having talked about I. Q.'s, measured them, and described 
them, of what value are they? and Where do they come from? 
To answer the last question first: intelligence is largely inherited. 
About seventy-five percent of it is, anyway. It is an innate capacity 
to wrestle with things in life. Despite all the evidence of I. Q.'s 
raised by the environment, none can refute the facts of infant 
prodigies, morons, families of feeblemindedness, and correspond- 
ence between twins. 

314 Psychology for the Millions 

How, other than by heredity, are we to explain a John Stuart 
Mill, who at six wrote a history of Rome, and at eight had mas- 
tered geometry and algebra. Appearing to have no childhood at 
all, the eminent English philosopher of the ipth century began to 
study Greek while he was but three years of age. A contemporary 
Englishman of Mills' day was the celebrated man of letters, Lord 
Thomas Macaulay. This precocious lad almost frightened his 
mother by his amazing memory. After reading the Oxford Col- 
lection through at the age of four, he would repeat entire sections 
of it by heart. Isaac Newton, who is supposed to have been rather 
average as a boy, showed his genius in countless ways for anyone 
who was there to recognize it. While merely a child he constructed 
perfect mechanical toys that worked. He made waterwheels and 
a mill that ground wheat into flour, using a mouse to supply the 
motive power. He built sundials and a wooden clock that went 
for him. 

In talking about the Bernoulli family, who played a leading 
part in developing the study of calculus, Eric Bell, who wrote a 
scholarly compendium of biographies on Men of Mathematics, 
says: "The most significant thing about a majority of the mathe- 
matical members of this family in the second and third genera- 
tions is that they did not deliberately choose mathematics as a 
profession but drifted into it in spite of themselves as a dipso- 
maniac returns to alcohol." This remarkable family produced no 
less than eight great mathematicians in three generations. 

At the opposite end of the intellect scale are the long lines of 
feebleminded families that come out of feebleminded matings. 
Psychologists used to point with authority to the Jukes family, 
traced by R. L. Dugdale through five generations. Out of 540 
persons more than half were low-intellect vagabonds, paupers and 
prostitutes. Another infamous family is the Kallikaks, traced by 
H. H. Goddard. Of 470 descendants resulting from the illicit mat- 
ing of Martin Kallikak with a feeble-minded woman, 143 were 
known to be feebleminded. Of the remainder, only 46 were known 

Quiz Kids and Phi Beta Kappa Men 3 15 

to be normal while the others, though their mentality was not 
determined, had been recorded as prostitutes, alcoholics and pau- 
pers. And here's the interesting part of the Kallikak story: From 
a subsequent legitimate mating of the same man with a normal 
woman, 496 descendants were traced, of whom only five percent 
were not normal. 

The above facts used to be offered up in evidence of the heredi- 
tary nature of mental defect. But these days when some psycholo- 
gists speak of them, they do so apologetically. It seems that the 
environment was very much against those who started out with 
three strikes against them to face life in the inbreeding cage of the 
hovels inhabited by the Jukes and illegitimate Kallikaks. 

Whatever the influence of slum districts and pauperism, the 
evidence overwhelmingly points to the fact that low, high, and 
mediocre intelligence quotients are very much inherited. "Like 
begets like," applies not only to the color of the skin but to the 
quality of the brain. 

Dr. A. F. Tredgold, whose book on Mental Deficiency is re- 
garded as the Bible in this field, states: "The great majority of 
cases of mental defect are due to inheritance." The widely publi- 
cized studies of geniuses and gifted children by Drs. Cox, Terman 
and Hollingworth confirm the hereditary influence in the upper 
brackets. A feebleminded child, born and reared in a home of five 
normals is not the product of environment but rather germ plasm. 
Finally, the voluminous data gathered by Professors Newman, 
Freeman, and Holzinger on identical twins and dissimilar twins, 
reared apart and reared together, show conclusively the strong 
influence of heredity on determining the I. Q. 

The picture for intellectual aptitude is the same as was found 
for musical, artistic, and athletic talents. Here again, as was true 
of great musicians and circus stars, although heredity is a crucial 
factor, training and education can do much in the way of shaping 
intelligent behavior. But the limit of this training is again set by 
heredity. Try as you might you will never make a superior intellect 

3 1 6 Psychology for the Millions 

out of a person with the capacity of an imbecile. Nor is this meant 
to discourage one from trying. In practice, what might appear to 
be a dull child, can become, if brought to fullest capacity, a com- 
pletely average youngster. Withal, the situation is aptly summed 
up by Professor Stoddard in his statement that "the organism can 
only become what it could have become'' 


Tied to this question of heredity versus environment as applied 
to intelligence are the many experiments showing improved I. Q.'s 
under varying circumstances. Recently, a few psychologists and 
educators took a normal child of average parents at infancy, and 
made of him a precocious savant. A series of experiments in Iowa 
City and New York showed higher I. Q/s among children as a 
result of attending nursery schools. Accumulated records have 
indicated that children improve in I. Q. who are taken from 
orphanages and homes of degeneracy and placed in socially 
improved surroundings. 

Are we to conclude from these evidences that fundamental in- 
telligence can be raised by additional and more concentrated 
schooling? The answer is, "no." Not if by intelligence we still 
mean the basic thinking capacity or the innate ability to solve origi- 
nal problems. More than twenty-five years ago, educators learned 
that neither Latin, mathematics, nor other head-racking activities 
improved the mind. 

Intelligence is not for sale. It cannot be bought or radically 
changed by high-priced colleges. Where opportunities for intellec- 
tual stimulation are completely absent, intelligence, like a poten- 
tially superior muscle, will not develop. Even normal eyesight, 
which is definitely hereditary, will degenerate in an individual 
who lives in a darkened cave. Nor should it be denied that a child 
removed from a stultifying, degenerate environment to a cultur- 
ally stimulating one will improve intellectually. But to reason from 

Quiz Kids and Phi Beta Kappa Men 317 

this, that a normal environment will make a normal child out 
of a potential imbecile, is wishful thinking. 

What then is the significance of the experiments showing a rise 
in I. Q.'s? Are the "statistical improvements" just a quibble over 
words and distorted meanings? Is it that psychologists can't agree 
upon what they mean by intelligence ? 

At first glance it would appear that psychologists have set up a 
straw man in the form of intelligence tests and then proceeded to 
knock him down themselves. But no, the results of experiments 
showing improved I. Q.'s are really a valuable contribution. They 
show that by diligent cultivation we can help average children 
come closer to their fullest powers in intellectual capabilities. Ex- 
pressing this point of view, Professor Stoddard, in his book, The 
Meaning of Intelligence, which is one of the most scholarly trea- 
tises on this much muddled subject, says: "It can be predicted 
with some confidence that when homes and schools give the child 
what he truly needs, at all ages from the first year upward, there 
will be a radical revision in the norms and standards for mental 
tests." In other words, all children will show a lot more intellect if 
given the benefit of improved training in the home and the school. 

I agree with this prediction, but the lighter side of me insists on 
warning that this business of cultivating the child's intellect can 
be overdone. An injant savant can be as great a monstrosity as an 
idiot savant. 

Thus, we are able to explain the raising of I. Q. scores in experi- 
ments, by indicating that through better training the reserve 
powers of the child are brought out. However, the average child 
who goes through life in a constant environment will show little 
fluctuation in his intellectual powers. Despite the fact that a 
mother in anger says to her child, "You get dumber every day," 
we know she doesn't mean it. But when she brags about how 
much smarter the little heir is becoming, she means it, but it isn't 
usually true. 

3 18 Psychology for the Millions 

Young and old get to know more as they mosey through life, 
but on the average they don't become very much smarter or 
dumber except as they approach senile decay. Professor, Wood- 
worth's statement, made thirty years ago, is still true today if we 
interpret it in a scientific spirit "Bright child, bright adult; dull 
child, dull adult. That is the rule and the exceptions are not numer- 
ous enough to shake it," said Dr. Robert S. Woodworth. 


The constancy of the I. Q. appears to offer a pessimistic picture. 
Offhand it gives the impression of pre-destination. This of course 
is untrue, for it reckons without the potentialities of the environ- 
ment. It is well to remember that within a lifetime the average 
person attains to within less than half of his fullest intellectual 

Viewed realistically and judiciously, knowledge of the I. Q. has 
been and can be used to wonderful advantage in schools, business 
organizations, the law courts, and in the social world. 

In the home itself, a parent who ascertains the I. Q. of a child at 
six and again at nine will know whether the youngster has the 
potential ability to get through college and can act accordingly. 
An estimated minimum I. Q. of no to 115 is considered necessary 
for success in college. With an I. Q. of less than 95, a boy or girl 
will find it rough going in an academic high school. A bright or 
gifted child of I. Q. more than 130 requires extra hobbies and 
interests to give a wholesome direction to his active imagination. 
The average child of I. Q. 100 should not be blindly pushed to 
follow in a professional father's career of law or medicine. The 
child should be guided in keeping with his interests and capacities. 

The greatest fruition in the use of intelligence test results has 
most naturally been achieved in the schools where the work origi- 
nated. The mentally retarded are culled out and placed in correc- 
tive classes. The bored but bright child is recognized and reported 
to his parents. Deaf children and those with defective eyesight who 

Quiz Kids and Phi Beta Kappa Men 319 

were behind in schooling were often mistakenly thought to be 
dull. Now their true mental status is learned from their perform- 
ance on an intelligence test. In the large schools, children of the 
same grade are grouped with others of equal mental age; making 
for improved harmony among the pupils. 

In the business world, such corporations as Procter and Gamble, 
R. H. Macy, U. S. Gypsum, Western Union, and International 
Business Machines are but a few who have used standard tests for 
placing their prospective employees. Putting individuals with 
high I. Q.'s in low mentality jobs, they have found, is a costly error. 
For example, some years ago the personnel director of R. H. Macy's 
department store in New York told me that she found employees 
with high I. Q.'s unsuited for sales positions. They were bored 
while on the job and the labor turn-over was excessive. 

Dr. H. Moore, in his book, Psychology for Business, published 
a table showing the acceptable I. Q. range of scores that had been 
worked out at R. H. Macy's for various positions. For manual 
work, the I. Q. required was 60 to 70; clerical work required 100 
to 120; promotional work was from 100 to 133; and skilled clerical 
work needed a score of 120 to 133. 

During the wartime situation, selective testing in industry went 
by the wayside. The post-war period, however, should receive an 
unequaled testing impetus growing out of the huge success of the 
testing program established in the military services. 

In legal work, the public is familiar with the fact that psychia- 
trists or alienists, as they are called, are often brought into court 
to judge the sanity of a person. What is not known is that, much 
more often, a psychologist is required rather than a psychiatrist. 
This is so, when it is necessary to determine the mental level of a 
defendant. The psychologist tests for mental defect, the psychics 
trist judges mental disease. There is a vast difference in the two 

In police round-ups of prostitutes, invariably, more than half 
the girls stem from I. Q. levels below eighty. The decision as to 

320 Psychology for the Millions 

whether a delinquent boy or girl is to be sent to a reform school, 
or an institution for the mentally defective, rests with the psy- 
chologist's findings. Experience and careful statistics have made 
what used to be a guessing game into a reliable science. It would be 
as great an injustice to relegate a juvenile offender to an institution 
for the mentally defective without an intelligence test, as it would 
be to declare a man insane by a Icttrc de cachet recalled from the 
dark days of Charles Dickens. 


Not only have intelligence tests proved invaluable in our insti- 
tutions, but in the sphere of social life they have broadened our 
minds. We are prone to be more tolerant toward a boorish neigh- 
bor if we know that his score on an intelligence test is in the feeble 
6o's. I might say, that the science of intelligence testing has opened 
many eyes to a fuller understanding of people. We know what to 
expect from the idiot, the imbecile, moron, and genius, although 
admittedly, much misinformation yet exists in the popular mind 
about mental inferiors as well as mental superiors. 

The terms "idiot" and "moron" are bandied about rather freely 
and incorrectly in daily usage. Often, the word moron is applied 
as a description for immorality or insanity. The fellow who crosses 
you is called a "stupid moron." This is redundancy. You might as 
well call him "a stupid stupid." Again, the term idiot is erroneously 
used to denote insanity. The appellation, "crazy idiot," is a favorite 
with many. Actually, a "crazy idiot" is a rarity. 

The names "idiot," "imbecile," and "moron," refer to three spe- 
cific levels of unintelligence from low to high in that order. They 
are all three within the class characterized as feeblemindedness or 
amentia. This carries no connotation of insanity or dementia. It 
is true that on occasion there will be unfortunates who are both 
mentally deficient and mentally diseased. But as I describe the 
classes of feeblemindedness, you will see that the socalled "crazy 

Quiz Kids and Phi Beta Kappa Men 321 

idiot" is technically an impossibility. The idiot is an extreme 
ament, which means, literally, "lacking in mind." The insane is a 
dement, implying "a distortion of mind." Lacking a rnind, 
there is nothing to be distorted as far as the idiot is concerned. 


Idiocy is a legal and educational name applied to the lowest 
grade of feeblemindedness. Though such persons may live to age 
thirty or forty, their mental age will never rise above that of a 
two-year-old child. They are so helpless that they do not under- 
stand the danger of a blazing fire or the height of a roof. In the 
higher brackets of idiocy, and there are two groups, they may be 
able to feed themselves. They walk but do not talk. They have to 
be washed, dressed, and attended in simple toilet habits even in 
adulthood. Anger or fright appears, but with little reason. Recog- 
nition of a parent or doctor is expressed by gurgles and grunts. 
Most of them are mild and placid. A few are excitable and destruc- 
tive of themselves and their surroundings. 

It is difficult to imagine, but there is a lower element in the 
idiocy class. They have ears but hear not; eyes but see not. Tongue 
and limbs are theirs, but they neither walk nor talk. They breathe 
and live, but do not even have the reflexes to suckle at birth or to 
feel any form of pleasure or pain. In the presence of an abundance 
of food they would starve^to death. These human anomalies, who 
are referred to as "complete or profound idiots," do not live long. 
If ever there comes to pass such a thing as mercy deaths, this 
group would be among the deserving. 

Idiocy occurs about once in every two thousand births. By far, 
the most important contribution to your knowledge from these 
facts, is the realization that all forms of idiocy should be insti- 
tutionalized. Every state is prepared to bear this burden. Though 
helpless members of society, these aments are cared for by doc- 

322 Psychology for the Millions 

tors and workers in the institutions. Kept in the home they are a 
gnawing grief upon parents and other members of the family. 


The dividing line between imbecility and idiocy is a man- 
made concept. The upper level of idiocy shades into imbecility. In 
general, those persons with an I. Q. between 25 and 50, or whose 
intelligence does not go above that of a seven-year-old, are con- 
sidered imbeciles. They can be recognized in infancy as extremely 
unresponsive, apathetic babies. Their history shows that they do 
not walk alone until three to four years of age, and don't use words 
until about five. Their feeding and toilet habits are retarded three 
to four years. Grown to adulthood, the individuals of imbecile 
capacity can be taught to recognize the hazard of fire, an approach- 
ing automobile, drowning in deep water, and other common 

Placement in an institution for retarded mentalities at this level 
is essential. There, by dint of trained teaching efforts they will 
learn to talk, eat by themselves, and dress themselves. Under su- 
pervision they can do such chores as sweeping, weeding the gar- 
den, and picking in the fields. 

If not placed in charitable or state institutions voluntarily, the 
vast majority of this group eventually get there through the courts. 
The recent "Tattle-Tale Murder" is a sample of the behavior of 
such a child. A girl of eleven, the youngest ever to appear in the 
Homicide court, she sat there with an unconcerned look on her 
face. The previous day she had fatally stabbed a nine-year-old 
classmate for tattling on her. The mother of the accused child in- 
formed the judge that her eleven-year-old girl "had the mind of 
a child of four." 

It is the psychologist's opinion that such children, whom we 
would term imbeciles, should not be in schools, but rather in su- 
pervised institutions before their crimes are committed. 

Quiz Kids and Phi Beta Kappa Men 323 


The moron group of the feebleminded are society's greatest 
problem. All authorities are agreed that mental defectives at the 
level of idiot and imbecile are to be pitied and institutionalized, 
and I would add, sterilized. In adulthood, the moron group is 
considered to have the intelligence equal to that of children from 
seven to ten years. Their I. Q. scores range between 50 and 70. In 
schools they rarely get beyond the fifth grade. 

These individuals characteristically have normal urges, desires, 
and emotions, but do not have the intelligence to control or foresee 
the consequences of their behavior. The rate of illegitimacy is 
highest among moron girls. Mobsters, goon squads, petty thieves, 
and prostitutes are largely recruited from the moron class. 

Here's the situation; healthy, vain men and girls; wanting cars, 
fur coats, jewelry, fancy hair do's and good times; they have adult 
bodies, adult wants, and the minds of children. The outcome, in- 
evitably, is degeneracy, thievery, venery, and illegitimate mother- 

There is a familiar epigram that "the poor get children while the 
rich get richer." The moron and gifted class in society have helped 
to establish this pithy statement of existing conditions. One recent 
study indicated that the graduates of a well known woman's col- 
lege averaged l /2 of a child per family. Contrast this with the 
average of 3 children per family in the lower I. Q. brackets. Now 
change the epigram to read: "morons make morons while the 
gifted make money," and you will still be telling the truth.* 

Posed as a wartime problem, newspapers teem with accounts 
of crime, delinquency, and sexual immorality as if they were non- 
existent before the war. The American youths hold meetings, 
Parent societies meet, the Educators get together,andtheSocialand 
Welfare organizations have their confabs. Broken homes, women 

* Checking on 1300 "gifted" children 20 years after their I. Q. was determined, Dr. 
Lewis Torman reported that their average salary was $250 per month. 

324 Psychology for the Millions 

in the factory, lack of playgrounds, men in uniform, and loose 
tnoxiey are given as the cause for loose morals and wartime crime. 
In this surge of emphasis on wartime conditions, an essential fea- 
ture of the trouble has been forgotten low intellect. This, as was 
previously indicated, carries in its wake an inability to inhibit emo- 
tional urges whether it be for food, money, or sex. 

I have an illuminating book before me, Women in Crime, writ- 
ten before the war influence. In telling about the difficulties in 
handling problem girls, Florence Monahan, the Warden Lawes 
of young girls' correctional schools, says: "The really bad girls 
. . . were definite mental problems and psychopathic personalities. 
We could do much in training girls of fairly normal intelligence. 
. . . Unfortunately, the low-grade and insane took much of the 
valuable time so completely wasted on them which could have 
been used constructively if given to the normal ones." Elsewhere 
Miss Monahan states: "Frequently girls committed to Geneva 
were mental defectives and many had had sex experiences at an 
early age. ... It was not surprising to me that some of the girls 
who had been in the school eventually went to live in houses of 
prostitution; that life was not new to them." 

Forced upon Miss Monahan's attention was the fact that while 
social benefits would help normal girls, the mental defective 
could not be handled in the correctional schools and was totally un- 
responsive to the reform-school attempts at rehabilitation. 

There is little doubt that wartime displacements contributed to 
waywardness. However, in war or peace, the basis for a large share 
of delinquency, sexual immorality, and illegitimate births is di- 
rectly related to the number of morons on the loose. 

Statistics show that the feebleminded make up one percent of 
our population. Saying, "one percent," does not give the full im- 
port. But translate that into one million three hundred thousand 
feebleminded people and you have the source of a lot of annual 
crime and delinquency. 

What does this imply ? Shall we throw up our hands and say, 

Quiz Kids and Phi Beta Kappa Men 325 

"Don't bother improving the environment; the delinquents arc 
hopeless morons?" Of course not. It was indicated previously that 
by dint of concentrated, earnest, educational and cultural stimula- 
tion an individual can be raised to a higher intellectual level. This 
applies to morons as well as the dull-normal. The training must, 
however, begin early, and proceed in the hands of intelligent and 
sympathetic teaching specialists. Nor is this enough. 

Although there are differences of opinion, at least half of the 
interested professional workers agree that there should be legisla- 
tion requiring sterilization of the feebleminded. This movement 
has had its greatest impetus from the Human Betterment Founda- 
tion in California, led by Paul Popenoe and E. S. Gosney. In the 
same direction are the suggestions for making available in free 
clinics improved methods of birth control. A third recommenda- 
tion is the legalization of surgical abortion, a practice which is at 
present reduced to the status of rear-office bootlegging among doo- 
tors in the United States, who must be classed as criminals under 
the existing law. 

To add a touch of brightness to an otherwise depressing picture, 
I am reminded of something a young doctor said at the hospital 
for the mentally defective on Randall's Island in New York. The 
statement was made to a visiting college class studying intelligence 
testing, of which I was a member. I think the doctor's name was 
Smith. He said: "We need all kinds of people on this earth. These 
defectives whom we strive to educate, are here to serve a useful 
purpose. They are an integral part in life's design. We need them 
to dig a ditch, stamp price tags, push levers, mow the lawn, pick 
potatoes, and polish door knobs. And any college man who takes 
such a job, is upsetting life's design." 


At the other extreme of the I. Q. scale, stands the "gifted intel- 
lect," and the "intellectual genius." Famous people, statesmen, 
writers, inventors, great lawyers, doctors, engineers, and scientists 

326 Psychology for the Millions 

are drawn primarily from this group. It feeds our ego and tickles 
that sense of justice triumphant when we read that one or another 
now famous person flunked a course, or in childhood was con- 
sidered stupid by his teachers. These are the exceptions. The vast 
majority of creative public figures were gifted in childhood, 
showed early talent, and stood head and shoulders above their 
classmates. Had there been a radio program, they could have been 
"quiz kids." 

Dorothy Thompson was a highly intelligent, though willful 
child. She was expelled from high school for impertinence, and 
later graduated from Syracuse University cum laudc. This meant 
A's in almost all her courses. Clifton Fadiman, conductor of In- 
formation Please, was reading Dickens at seven and went on to 
make Phi Beta Kappa honors at Columbia University. This meant 
A's in most of his courses. Oscar Levant, F. P. Adams, and John 
Kieran, fellow-members of the famous quiz program, were equally 
brilliant in childhood. 

Sumner Welles, former Under Secretary of State; Felix Frank- 
furter, Supreme Court Justice; Max Lerner, writer; Adolph A. 
Berle, Jr., Assistant Secretary of State; Paul Robeson, singer and 
actor; are but a few who demonstrated childhood brilliance, 
graduated from college with Phi Beta Kappa honors, and then be- 
came distinguished leaders in their respective fields. Without the 
opportunity to even enter high school, Andrew Carnegie, the in- 
dustrial millionaire, showed the nimbleness of his mind by out- 
distancing experienced men to become one of the most youthful 
and efficient telegraph operators of the Pennsylvania Railroad 
Company. Every one of these celebrated figures could be con- 
sidered as having a childhood intelligence quotient at the "gifted" 
level of 140 or better. 

If you were to take up a Who's Who and examine the childhood 
abilities of the entries, you would find that mental gift, like men- 
tal defect, shows itself early and continues through life. Doing just 
that, Catherine Cox Miles wrote a treatise on The Early Mental 

Quiz Kids and Phi Beta Kappa Men 327 

Traits of Three Hundred Geniuses. She used the term "genius'* 
to apply to the most famed in their field, which is its present-day 
popular concept. However, in psychological testing, the designa- 
tion of "genius" is applied to an individual with an I. Q. greater 
than 180. 

Dr. Miles studied the letters, early writings, and biographical 
records of such men as Ulysses S. Grant, George Washington, 
Charles Darwin, Goethe, Byron, Coleridge, Captain Cook, Mo- 
zart, John Milton, Isaac Newton. From the records, an estimate 
was made of the early and late I. Q. of the three hundred celebrated 
figures. The average intelligence quotient for the entire group was 
estimated between 135 and 145. The explorers, generals, joldiers, 
artists, and musicians were the only ones who scored below 140. 
These were men of action rather than thought. Remembering that 
the group was selected for their historical eminence rather than 
their intellectual qualities, the idea of early intelligence leading to 
ultimate success in life was more than borne out in Dr. Miles' study. 


The popular notion that brainy children shouldn't use their 
heads'too much, for fear they will use up the gray matter, is science 
in reverse. It is true that gifted children should be encouraged to 
indulge in athletic, musical, artistic, terpsichorean,* and mechani- 
cal pursuits. But their bent and thirst for intellectual stimulation 
should be encouraged, guided, and satisfied. 

A much publicized group of unusually gifted children who 
have profited by prudent guidance, are the radio Quiz Kids de- 
scribed by J. P. McEvoy. These young prodigies range in age from 
six to sixteen. The breadth and depth of their knowledge is as- 
tounding. Asked where he would plant vallisneria and cabomba, 
eight-year-old Gerard Darrow promptly answered, "In a fish bowl, 
because they are aquatic plants." Cynthia Cline, who started 
school at three, now speaks German and French and composes 

* It was the only adjective I could find for "dancing." 

328 Psychology for the Millions 

verses at the age of fourteen. She also figure-skates, rides horse- 
back, arranges dances, and has composed the words and music 
for an operetta. At fourteen, Van Dyke Tiers was one of the oldest 
and best versed veterans of the quiz regulars. Before he was three 
he could name the planets in order and recite the Swedish and 
Greek alphabets. To the question: "What four consecutive num- 
bers add up to ten ?" he answered in a flash, "One, two, three and 
four." The average person would have to think about it, but not 
this kid. 

That the scintillating intellect of these children did not just 
grow like an unattended weed is indicated by Mr. McEvoy in an 
article titled "As the Quiz Kids Were Bent." He relates that "the 
investigators who select these unusual youngsters for radio compe- 
tition have been impressed by the appearance in every case of one 
factor: back of every unusually bright child you always find an un- 
usually interested grownup who has made it his or her job to en- 
courage and stimulate the youngster." This is a far cry from the 
notion that brainy children should be discouraged from studying. 
Groundless theories of this kind have occasioned a backward 
movement in education. 

In New York City, rapid advancement classes, established years 
ago, are gradually being eliminated. Not long ago one of the most 
unique public high schools in the country went out of existence. 
The Townsend Harris High School in New York City, open only 
to the brightest students, gave the regular four-year high school 
course in three years. Politics, retrenchment, and a disinterested 
educational profession closed the school. Opposed to the New 
York retrenchment in educational policy are the innovations at 
the University of Chicago, and little St. Johns College in Mary- 
land. Here, students who do satisfactory work, are admitted to the 
college after two years of high school. 

The gifted child is generally neglected in the public schools. 
Only a few educators, including the late Professor Leta Holling- 
worth, Lewis Terman, and Harvey Zorbaugh, have primarily in- 

Quiz Kids and Phi Beta Kappa Men 329 

tercsted themselves in promoting the welfare of this group. From 
a practical standpoint, the public school neglect is short-sighted 
economy. The gifted children can truly be the realization of Plato's 
ideal. Nurtured, educated, and specially cultivated at the State's 
expense, their return in social, political, artistic, and scientific bene- 
fits to humanity will be more than repaid. In time of war emer- 
gency the value of this ideal is appreciated. The government pays 
the way of the best students in medicine, dentistry, engineering, 
languages, law, journalism, political science, etc. Why not in time 
of peace? 

In normal times, the State recognizes the wisdom of providing 
special care and support for the feebleminded from the moron 
down to the most hopeless, helpless idiot. At the other extreme, 
does the State provide for the potential genius who wants to be- 
come a doctor, research chemist, artist, or politician? Do you 
know any free medical schools, or graduate schools of engineering 
or art that will insure recognition for a Negro, Jew, or impover- 
ished American with the potentiality of a genius? The answer 
is given in the life of the talented genius, George Washington 
Carver, who had to walk with bedraggled shoes, eat on ten cents 
a day, and live under a thatched roof while he was yet one of 
America's greatest scientists. 


That genius will out, is a moot question. If given an opportunity, 
it most certainly will appear. But if it is unstimulated and untu- 
tored it is much less likely to reach maturity. Children of I. Q. over 
140 are not to be taken for granted. They offer serious problems; 
not to society in the sense of causing trouble, but rather to their 
parents and guardians who desire to help them find happiness. 
This isn't the easiest task, because children with high I. Q.'s arc apt 
to find themselves intellectual giants in a world of medium sized 

Like the mental defective, the mentally accelerated make up 

330 Psychology for the Millions 

one percent of the population. They are different intellectually 
and it is the parents' concern to see that their brilliant offspring 
do not become different socially and emotionally. 

The gifted child has the intelligence of an adult, but is socially 
and emotionally unmatured. For this reason he is more apt to be- 
come socially maladjusted. He is bored by children's games, but 
is yet too small to join the games of older boys and girls. If skipped 
in school grades he finds himself out of it in social parties. Bigger 
and older pupils with less sense but more muscle will bully him. 
He may be ridiculed by older classmates for a childish show of 
emotions. These are problems that must be faced and resolved for 
the brilliant youngster. 

Superior children need careful guidance if they are not to be- 
come what the popular mind thinks they are high strung, pam- 
pered, weak, and sissified. In the conduct and personality of the 
Quiz Kids can be seen the benefits of prudent management. 

The Quiz Kids are by no means average in I. Q. but, as Mr. 
McEvoy states, "Their backgrounds are: ranging from a family on 
relief to comfortable middle class." In them we see a shattering of 
all the mistaken ideas that bright children are nervous, sickly, 
and weak. These young radio artists are one and all healthy, happy, 
well rounded youngsters. Little Gerard Darrow can daily be seen 
wading through mud puddles or riding his bicycle near his Chi- 
cago home. Van Dyke Tiers, though a high school senior at four- 
teen, is popular with all his classmates. Cynthia Cline, since the 
age of seven has helped her mother in the management of a 
nursery school. Between learning housework and qualifying for 
the Quiz program, she found time to become one of the best girl 
athletes in her class. 

The accomplishments of these children show what can be done 
with tactful handling. The attitude of the parents toward these 
children reflects the teachings of sound psychology. In Jack 
LucaFs family they subscribe to newspapers of opposing views. If 

Quiz Kids and Phi Beta Kappa Men 331 

the youngster expresses an opinion on public affairs, the family 
takes the opposite side and they "battle it out." Cynthia Cline's 
mother relates that she never laughed at any of the child's efforts, 
but would help her and correct even her poorest drawings. The 
parents do not push the children. In fact they continuously try to 
get them to drop their books and go out and play. On the other 
hand, they answer their every question assiduously, and supply the 
children with books, maps, and educational materials in a variety 
of fields. 

That careful nurturing of high I. Q.'s pays dividends, need not 
be accepted solely from our popular examples. For nearly twenty 
years Professor Lewis Terman has followed the fortunes of some 
1300 California "quiz kids." In a school-wide testing program in 
1922 these children were chosen from 250,000, as having the 
highest I. Q.'s in their group. Every one of the 1300 had an I. Q. of 
140 or more. In 1940 a check-up survey was made on the fate and 
fortunes of the children. 

Of the 1300 gifted children, ninety percent had entered college, 
of which ninety-three percent graduated. This is about forty 
times higher than what is found in the country as a whole. The 
gifted students graduated with more honors, held more offices, 
had fewer divorces and fewer cases of illness or death. Their earn- 
ings were far above that of the general public. At the age of thirty 
they averaged $250 a month. They held positions of importance. 
Not one of the entire group failed tobe self-supporting, though they 
finished their schooling and entered the business world just when 
the depression arrived. Lastly, they gave birth to children with 
higher I. Q.'s. These results more than justify the aims of Leta 
Hollingworth, recently deceased, who did yeoman's work in at- 
tempting to establish special school facilities and opportunities 
for cultivating the talents of the intellectually gifted. 

Leaving the gifted, which are at an I. Q. level between 140 and 
180, let us go one step further and consider the intellectual genius. 

33 2 Psychology for the Millions 

Always a subject of interest, much has been written about him, yet 
he is characteristically little understood and much maligned. 


William James Sidis was a genius. He was by far the most pre- 
cocious intellectual child of his generation. His death in 1944 as 
an undistinguished figure was made the occasion for reawakening 
the old wives' tales about nervous breakdowns, burned out prodi- 
gies and insanity among geniuses. 

Young Sidis was truly an intellectual phenomenon. His child- 
hood achievements ranked with those of John Stuart Mill, Thomas 
Macaulay, and Johann Goethe. By the time William Sidis was two 
he could read English and at four he was typing original work in 
French. At the age of five he had devised a formula whereby he 
could name the day of the week for any given historical date. At 
eight he projected a new logarithms table based on the number 
twelve. He entered Harvard at the age of twelve and graduated 
cum laudc before he was sixteen. Mathematics was not his only 
forte. At this age he could speak and read fluently French, Ger- 
man, Russian, Greek, Latin, Armenian and Turkish. During his 
first year at Harvard University the boy astounded students and 
scientists with his theories on "Fourth Dimensional Bodies." 

The "man behind the gun" in this boy's amazing intellectual 
attainments is supposed to have been his father, a graduate in psy- 
chology at Harvard and a close friend of William James, after 
whom the boy was named. Dr. Boris Sidis believed in awakening 
in the child of two an interest in intellectual activity and love of 
knowledge. If you started early enough and worked intensively, 
Dr. Sidis claimed that by ten a child would acquire a knowledge 
equal to that of a college graduate. The boy's father published 
articles urging other parents to follow his methods. He castigated 
the school authorities for their "cramming, routine and rote meth- 
ods," which he said, "tend to nervous degeneracy and mental 

Quiz Kids and Phi Beta Kappa Men 333 

Dr. Sidis pointed to his son, William, as a successful ex- 
ample of his methods. He wrote: "At the age of twelve the boy 
has a fair understanding of comparative philology and mythology. 
He is well versed in logic, ancient history, American history and 
has a general insight into our politics and into the ground-work 
of our constitution. At the same time he is of extremely happy dis- 
position, brimming over with humor and fun." 

Whether or not his childhood life was psychologically normal, 
William's life after Harvard was a series of unhappy incidents. He 
engaged in obscure mechanical jobs because, it was reported, "he 
did not want to think." At the age of twenty-four he estranged 
himself from his parents and to his last days the gap between 
parents and son remained unreconciled, though toward his sister 
he always felt a brotherly love, which was expressed by a bond of 
friendship and mutual interests. Toward the press, William Sidis 
bore an everlastingly strong hatred. 

From this story the newspapers and the general public drew 
some ill-formed conclusions about William Sidis and genius in 
general. Newspaper writers pointed out that his "genius had 
burned out," that he was "tired of thinking." By comparison it 
was stated that musical geniuses are less likely to burn out. The 
father's system was held responsible for making the boy a prodigy. 
The parental pushing was blamed for the mental breakdown and 
his unsocial attitude. From his desire to keep out of the limelight 
by taking obscure jobs that would pay for his subsistence, William 
Sidis, the boy prodigy, was made out to be at the time of his death 
a "lonely, eccentric, prodigious failure" whose intellect had de- 

According to several newspaper reports, William Sidis was sup- 
posed to have had a brief mental breakdown at the age of twelve, 
after which it was said, "he returned to school brilliant as ever, but 
shy, moody, and distrustful." Let us examine some of the true 
facts in the background of this case of genius. 

I first checked on the occurrence of the supposed brief mental 

334 Psychology for the Millions 


breakdown. Students of abnormal psychology know that "brief 

mental breakdowns" in children of twelve are extremely rare. Both 
William's mother and his sister Helena, informed me that "he 
did not have a nervous breakdown." Replies to correspondence 
from many persons who knew William Sidis have convinced me 
that the idea of his having had a mental breakdown either early 
or late in life is erroneous. It seems that during the summer va- 
cation when as a youngster the newspapers reported him to have 
suffered his mental illness he was at his father's sanitarium at 
Portsmouth, New Hampshire. But, as his sister explained, "this 
was their home." Dr. Boris Sidis ran a sanitarium for the cure 
of psychopathic cases and the Sidis family, including William, 
lived there. 

It is true that the father's concentration on academics to the 
complete neglect of play and friends for the boy was wrong and 
unhealthy by any standards. However, the boy had a prodigious 
capacity to begin with. At five he had a mathematical ability that 
surpassed his father's. And it is doubtful whether the parents could 
have curbed it. Consider little Joel Kupperman, the "wonder 
child" of the Quiz Kids. At the age of five he did algebra and ge- 
ometry problems mentally that few college professors could imi- 
tate. The Kuppermans are above average in intelligence, the 
mother is a former teacher, and the father, an engineer. They 
have used no system with Joel. His mother says: "Where he learns 
these things is more than I know," but they keep him supplied 
with all the books he wants. 

An older youngster, whose history appears to approximate more 
closely that of young Sidis, is Master Merrill Kenneth Wolf, en- 
rolled as a sophomore at Yale University at the age of twelve. The 
boy's parents, both attorneys, insist that they are average persons 
in such matters as intelligence and attainments. Yet, the father, 
Morris H. Wolf, never attended school but like his son studied 
law at home; formerly a reporter for the London Daily Mail, he 
has published three books and is an accomplished musician. Mrs. 

Quiz Kids and Phi Beta Kappa Men 335 

Wolf had informed reporters that the education of their son be- 
gan when he amazed them by starting to talk at the age of four 
months. By the time he was two, Kenneth Wolf had finished all 
the juveniles and showed an interest in adult works of science, 
history, and philosophy. In addition to his grasp of French, Eng- 
lish grammar, zoology, and chemistry, the boy is a musical prodigy 
with that rare gift of absolute pitch. 

Regardless of their zeal, neither the Kuppermans, the Wolfs, 
nor the Sidises could have given their children the stupendous in- 
tellectual capacities that these youngsters manifested at so tender 
an age. Their giving was primarily in the nature of the germ plasm, 
followed to some extent by educational nurture. 

Returning to William Sidis; the facts in his background are 
even more convincing as concerns family heritage. His mother 
schooled herself at home through elementary and high school 
work and then was accepted at the Boston University School of 
Medicine where she received her M.D. degree. Boris Sidis, 
William's father, earned three degrees from Harvard before he 
was thirty, though he arrived from Russia at the age of twenty. 
Moreover, on both parental sides, the family, from grandparents 
to cousins, includes many whose prodigious intellect is a matter of 
world renown. 

In any case, we can be quite certain that genius is not made by 
parents' actions. No, William Sidis was not made a prodigy by his 
father, he was born to be one. 

That Sidis was socially maladjusted as an adult cannot be attrib- 
uted to any simple set of circumstances. That he had not been 
taught to play in childhood may be considered a definite parental 
lack of foresight contributing to this maladjustment. However, 
one must recognize that it is not easy to find playmates or childish 
games to amuse or interest an adult mind in a young body. The 
parents of any precocious child will testify to that. 

That William Sidis, as a youngster, had been unwholesomely 
placed in the public eye by association with his father's psycho- 

336 Psychology for the Millions 

logical fame, is a fact of record. Out of this, probably grew the 
eventual separation between parents and son when the youth 
reached adulthood. As long as he lived, the thought of being con- 
sidered a public spectacle was positive poison to the soul of Bill 
Sidis. He refused to have his name attached to any of his later 
writings and turned down offers of large sums from publishers 
who would not agree to his use of a pen-name. He won a success- 
ful suit against the New Yorker Magazine for placing him in a 
ridiculous light in the public eye in 1937 in one of their "profiles." 
Sarah Sidis gave a partial explanation for her son's lifelong ani- 
mosity toward the press. She related that as a child, returning 
home from school, a couple of newspapermen would descend 
upon the boy. While one held him, the other would take his pic- 
ture. As a youth and as a man, Bill Sidis wanted to be left alone to 
live as an average individual, and said so, many times. He objected 
bitterly to the idea of being stamped a "genius" and treated as a 
side-show with the connotation of "queerness" that he knew to be 
associated with genius in the uninformed public mind. After his 
death, one friend of Bill Sidis wrote a letter which appeared in the 
Contributor's Column of the Boston Traveler in objection to the 
false impressions given in the many newspaper obituary accounts. 
With her permission I am reprinting it. 

People's Editor: 

This is about Bill Sidis, who died Monday. His numerous friends 
do not like the false newspaper picture of him as a pauper and 
anti-social recluse. Bill Sidis held a clerical position until two weeks 
ago. For two weeks he had received unemployment compensation, 
the first time in his life. Today he was to start on a new job for 
which he had already been hired. Bill Sidis paid his way; he was 
no burden on society. 

Sidis had plenty of loyal friends. All of them found his ideas 
stimulating and his personality likeable. Very few people know as 
much about the Indian background of our social customs as he. 
His manuscript study of it is worthy textbook material and very 
readable. He knew dozens of stories from Boston's history and 

Quiz Kids and Phi Beta Kappa flLen 337 

told them with a relish. He recently submitted a plan for post-war 

But William Sidis had one great cause the right of an individual 
in this country to follow his chosen way of life. He had never been 
able to do this for himself, first because his father made him an ex- 
ample for psychological theories; then because the public, through 
newspaper articles, insisted that he was a "genius," abnormal and 

Whenever Sidis saw interference, by individuals or.governments, 
with anyone's "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," he fought 
it any way he could. He won a long legal fight against a nationally 
known publication on the ground that it had invaded his privacy. 

Bill Sidis was a quiet man who enjoyed the normal things of life. 
His friends respected him and enjoyed his company. I am glad to 
have been one of his friends. 

It is quite obvious from this evidence of Bill Sidis' enjoyment 
of wholesome friendships to his very last days that his genius did 
not make of him the "queer, friendless personality" that is too 
often, erroneously thought to be characteristic of geniuses. 

The intellect of William Sidis did not "burn out." What the 
journalists did not report, and perhaps did not know, was that 
during all the years of his obscure employments he was writing 
original treatises on history, government, economics, and political 
affairs. In a visit to his mother's home I was permitted to see the 
contents of a trunkful of original manuscript material that Bill 
Sidis composed during the time he was supposed to be "reluctant 
to think." And in his obscure mechanical jobs, the "adding ma- 
chines" that the newspapers described him to be working in later 
life, were comptometers. Moreover, he would Work two of them at 
a time, one with his left hand and one with his right, using his el- 
bows for the space bar. That's not all. Supplied with a full share 
of work that was supposed to consume an eight hour day, he would 
finish all of it within one hour. If that's an example of "burned 
out" genius, then I'll. . . . 

Nor was Bill Sidis lacking in a sense of humor. Many pungent 

338 Psychology for the Millions 

witticisms are to be found in his manuscripts. In book form they 
will draw many a chuckle from the reader when published. This 
is a characteristic sample: "Famous author, foreign correspondent 
and noted commentator: a fellow with a sponsor." 

There was no lessening of William Sidis' mental acuity. Helena 
Sidis told me that a few years before his death, her brother Bill 
took an intelligence test with a psychologist. His score was the very 
highest that had ever been obtained. In terms of I. Q., the psycholo- 
gist related that the figure would be between 250 and 300. Late in 
life William Sidis took general intelligence tests for Civil Service 
positions in New York and Boston. His phenomenal ratings are a 
matter of record. 

In the interest of scientific truth and the benefits to be derived 
from its application, I have tried to offer a truer story of an intellec- 
tual genius. To mothers of intellectual prodigies, I say, fear not 
that the youngster's brain power will be dissipated with age. Feed 
it, and it will grow like that of any precocious musical or artistic 
genius. True, there are reports of extremely precocious children 
whose brilliance flared like a torch and burned out before the age of 
ten. These are, in the main, abnormal cases of brain tumor. They 
characteristically die before the age of twelve as a result of the 
brain tumor which can be diagnosed by a medical specialist. 

The life of William James Sidis vividly portrays what psychol- 
ogy teaches about intellectual genius. // is first born and then de- 
veloped. The prowess appears at an early age. It does not expire 
any sooner than musical or artistic talent. Mental derangement is 
not characteristic of genius. Unrealistic publicity in connection 
with a youthful person of very superior capacity should be avoided. 
The Reeling of being different or queer should be guarded against, 
The precocious child is neither to be squelched in his thirst for 
learning nor to be zealously prodded. Allow the child to be the 
guide of his guardian. To develop normally, a youthful prodigy 
should have opportunities for wholesome emotional and social 
contacts with a friendly world. 

Quiz Kids and Phi Beta Kappa Men 339 

We have seen the necessity for the rational nurture of the in- 
tellectual side of life regardless of what the original nature may 
be. Let us now view the scene in a most important sphere of hu- 
man life, which, by nature, touches every living human, yet by 
nurture, is the most neglected your sex life. 


'em, em; af fo 


HAT might we expect in the way of sex behavior, if hu- 
mans received no training in the satisfaction of this normal 
human hunger? 

You can let your imagination roam on the answer to that ques- 
tion. For my part, I have a vivid, childhood recollection of the 
alley cats and dogs that roamed the back yards behind the Bronx 
apartment houses in New York, where as kids we watched scenes 
of applied biology. 

Somehow and somewhere in the dark ages of modern civiliza- 
tion the question of childhood sex training became fused with the 
adult sex maze. Sex behavior, like eating behavior and bowel be- 
havior turns on the hands that minister to its development. Un- 
trained, the infant would grow up eating slop with his hands and 
relieving himself wherever he happened to be; timely but not 

The distortions, inhibitions, ignorance, and prohibitions that 
surround the sexual theme of the parents have been wished upon 
the children. Because of these taboos, children are not guided in 
the development of their sex behavior as they are trained in eat- 
ing, talking, and bowel-moving. Instead, they are left to be con- 
founded, bewildered, and bewitched by caprice and a peek-a-boo 
learning that humans pick up in their meandering from infancy 
to adolescence. 

The consequences of such haphazard development and the 

Tell 'em, Tell 'em; What to Tell Them? 341 

overlay of stupid adult clumsiness are vividly caught and painted 
in several scenes by Henry Bellamann, His is a word picture of 
sexual drama depicted in the lives of two children in the stirring 
psychological novel, Kings Row. 

Young Parris Mitchell who lived with his grandmother in a 
mid-western town during the nineties is the central character of 
Bellamann's tale. From the time of his infancy, Parris had played 
with Renee Gyllinson, the daughter of his grandmother's gar- 
dener* Two gay, romping twelve-year-olds, we find Parris and 
Renee blithely and innocently preparing to swim in the nude at 
a secluded pond. 

"Without any comment Renee pulled her dress over her head 
and flung it under the apple tree. 

" 'Unbutton my back, Parris, I can't reach.' She slipped the but- 
tons of her short muslin drawers which were attached to the 
waist Parris was unbuttoning. She stepped out of the skimpy gar- 
ment and waded in." 

These untutored children were having guiltless fun. Unin- 
hibited and unsoiled, they were oblivious to heterosexual activity 
as such. But the story is different when on a hot summer day a 
little after his fourteenth birthday we again see Parris and Renee 
at their "secret lake," as they called it. They have just finished un- 
dressing under the branches of a big crab-apple tree: 

"In a moment they were lying side by side with something of. 
their accustomed ease. . . . Suddenly his heart pounded suffo- 
catingly. The green world seemed to rush at him. The illusion 
made him dizzy. His thoughts flew back and forth in his head. 

"He leaned over her. 'Renee!' he said in a harsh whisper. 

"She looked at him. Her eyes were wide and black in the 
shadow of the leaves. . . . 

"He moved closer and pressed his cheek against hers. Her soft 
skin was flaming. 

" 'Do you want to?' he repeated. 

"He felt her nod against his cheek. 'Yes.' She turned her face as 

342 Psychology for the Millions 

far away as she could, but her arms went around his neck. 

"He scarcely knew what he did, but he knew with an amazing 
clarity how Drake McHugh's talk had prepared him for this mo- 
ment. He felt her soft, yielding body stiffen with surprise he felt 
her try to thrust him away from her, but he knew he could not 
help her, or spare her in any way he heard her cry and felt the 
resistance go out of her. Then her arms tightened around his neck, 
pressing his face hard into the cool sweet grass." 

The children were seen by prying eyes. When Renee arrived 
home she was met with a terribly cruel leather strapping. Parris, 
outside the locked door of her home, helplessly listened to her 
screams and became deliriously sick. The next day, Renee's family 
moved from the town never to be seen again. Parris' delirium and 
fever lasted for several weeks. The scar of his mental anguish re- 
mained with him through life. 

The plight and misery suffered by Parris and Renee for their 
adolescent misdeed is not just a fictional tragedy. Theirs was by 
no means the worst that befalls poorly informed and unprepared 
adolescents. In a report on a national survey by Ellsworth B. Buck, 
Vice President of the Board of Education of the City of New York, 
it was disclosed that 1,347 illegitimate births were recorded in New 
York City in one year. Of that number, ninety-six of the unwed 
mothers were under sixteen years of age. These included a child of 
eleven, a girl of twelve, and two thirteen-year-olds. 

No novelist's tragedies were these. And though we may take a 
practical attitude toward the mothers and illegitimate children, it 
is still a fact that each case presents a sad societal drama. 

This situation was not confined to New York City. In fact, of 
seventy-four cities studied, with populations greater than 100,000, 
New York was sixty-ninth. The rural districts showed a higher 
rate of illegitimacy than large or small urban areas. In the United 
States at large, there was a total of 1,800 babies born out of wed- 
lock to child-mothers of ages ten to fourteen. 

Fatherless children are not the only aspect of these adolescent 

Tell 'em, Tell 'em; What to Tell Them? 343 

indiscretions. Recently, the New York City Department of Health 
listed almost three thousand cases of venereal disease in girls and 
boys under the age of nineteen. Rape cases received their share of 
publicity with more than three hundred reported in but two of the 
city's five boroughs. Most of the girls were under sixteen, and the 
greatest number came from the sixth grade in elementary school. 
The court records of these cases revealed that "ignorance, distor- 
tions, and fear-ridden half-knowledge" was prominent among the 
children. "I didn't know what it was all about" and "I only did it 
to keep my boy friend," were the two excuses most often given. 

These affairs of illegitimacy, syphilis, and rape are not fictional 
dramas. They represent harsh truth, reported as cold statistical 
fact. In the face of this, the educational fathers are still debating 
whether high school "children" are old enough to be taught the 
"facts" of sexual life. 


A condensed version of Mr. Ellsworth Buck's excellent report 
appeared in the Readers Digest as an argument for the necessity 
of including sex education in the school curriculum. A parentheti- 
cal heading to the article states: "Since parents are shirking their 
responsibilities, the schools should give our children protective 
knowledge." In a subsequent issue, the Reader's Digest carried an 
article expressing a counter opinion by Ann Crockett, a high- 
school teacher of English, who maintained that sex instruction 
should not be given in the schools but rather in the home. 

Although I disagree with Miss Crockett about not teaching sex 
in schools, her statements offer some keen observations on the 
problem of sex education. She says, "In no case from my school 
and I've known of dozens was the offender ignorant of the con- 
sequences of the sexual act. Boys and girls of high school age know 
where babies come from. . . . 

"It is a mistake to assume that there is any definite age or grade 
when sex teaching might begin. The only appropriate time is 

344 Psychology for the Millions 

when the child makes a comment or asks a question. This may 
come at five, at ten, or later. Whenever it comes and it may come 
again and again the mother has her chance to begin building a 
bond of confidence between herself and her child." 

What Miss Crockett says here is true. Psychologists, physicians, 
sociologists, and teachers who are in favor of giving sex education 
in the schools will agree with her statements. However, they are 
poor arguments against offering sex education in the schools. No 
one will maintain that telling boys and girls "where babies come 
from" will stop them from indulging in sexual intercourse. But 
telling them of the inefficacy of certain street-gathered methods of 
contraception might stop them. Venereal disease rates might halt 
them. Information about male attitudes toward de-virginated 
females may cause hesitation. However, building wholesome at- 
titudes toward sex life is the aim of the school's education, and not 
just the imparting of sex facts. 

The author's second point is that sex teaching must attend the 
child's wants, needs, and capability to understand. This is an old 
story in school education. The entire system is supposed to be 
based on this principle. Every school subject is graded to increase 
from simplicity to complicity. In her own subject, Miss Crockett 
knows that the child starts with the spelling and pronunciation of 
the word "cat" in the first grade, and proceeds through Professor 
Thorndike's spelling demons to the word "onomatopoeia" in the 
eighth grade. 

The school directs children in play behavior, cooking, sewing, 
swimming, carpentry, social manners, and etiquette then why 
not sex behavior? To deny it is ridiculous. It's prudish, narrow- 
minded, hard-headed, and unreligious. Yes, unreligious. The ten 
commandments forbid adultery and thievery. The school is en- 
couraged to teach "thou shalt not steal," but is discouraged from 
teaching "thou shalt not bear illegitimate children." 

This young schoolteacher is not alone in her misguided ad- 
herence to a prejudicial principle. There are others. They number 

Tell 'em, Tell 'em; What to Tell Them? 345 

in the millions. No, they are not necessarily the mothers of these 
children. Dr. Benjamin C. Gruenberg, editor of High Schools and 
Sex Education, tells us that, "whenever parents have expressed 
themselves on the efforts of the school to orient children in sex 
matters, the comment has been almost unanimously favorable." 

Nor do the opponents of proper sex education in the schools 
come uniformly from the clergy or the members of the Catholic 
Church. Again I quote from Mr. Buck's article: "In New York, 
the woman physician who conducts the course in sex education at 
Cathedral High School, a Roman Catholic girl's institution, re- 
ported that in all the time this instruction has been given only one 
student's parents entered any objections, while hundreds of others 
had expressed their gratitude." 

From whence come these self appointed objectors? you ask. 
Who are -these stumbling blocks to enlightenment? 

For the most part, they are half-educated, straitlaced, rhetorical 
William Jennings Bryans. They are one-sided fundamentalists. 
They persecuted John T. Scopes in Tennessee for telling his pupils 
about the science of the now highly respected memory of Charles 
Darwin. In Athens they sacrificed Socrates to their bigotry, though 
he had devoted his life to arousing in Athenians a love of truth 
and virtue. They are the junior high school principal who headed 
a committee of the New York City Board of Education acting on 
a request that sex instruction be given in the New York schools. 

The following is from the report of this special committee of 
educators headed by the junior high school principal. They stated: 

It is a question of moment whether it is not wrong for 
the school to shoulder the responsibility of shortening for 
these little ones their period of innocent childhood and of 
awakening in them an interest in a topic for which they 
are not ready. 

And while the principal was writing that "these little ones should 
be sheltered in their period of innocent childhood," a home for 

346 Psychology for the Millions 

unmarried mothers reported that they had for some time been 
receiving an average of two girls a month from this principal's 

I would not stamp Ann Crockett as a confirmed member of this 
class. She just happened to land on the wrong side of the fence. 
It seems that she is fighting in the enemy's camp because of some 
spiritual loyalty. Her situation reminds me of a sidelight about 
Paul Robeson which appeared in Leonard Lyons' Den, column. 
As Lyons relates the incident, it was one of the final baseball games 
of the Broadway show-league between the mixed cast of Othello 
and the all-negro cast of Carmen Jones. With the score 7-6 against 
the Othello team, and two out in the ninth inning, Paul Robeson 
came to bat. He hit a long fly, which was caught for the final 
out ... "I really meant to get a hit," said Robeson later, "and 
when I saw that fellow running for the ball, half of me kept root- 
ing, 'Drop it, for the ball game' and the other half of me kept 
rooting, 'Catch it, for racial solidarity.' " 

Miss Crockett appears to be well informed on the subject of sex 
education. If she were to become a teacher of sex hygiene in the 
public schools she would probably be among the very best. In a 
spirit of true intellectual honesty, in her own article, she points 
out the shortcomings of parents in giving the necessary sex train- 
ing. I quote: "Sex instruction is not so simple as it sounds. Indeed, 
it is often so difficult that parents, through embarrassment or lack 
of confidence or sheer unwillingness to face the barrage of ques- 
tions that the subject invites, neglect it entirely." This of course is 
a strong argument for permitting the school to guide the child in 

sex matters. 



More important than the mere learning of sex facts are the emo- 
tional bruises that may attend the unprepared child's first experi- 

Lincoln Steffens, in his best selling autobiography of the early 

Tell 'em, Tell 'em; What to Tell Them ? 347 

1930*5, forcefully and vividly reveals the impact on the child of 
this psychic experience and parental naivete. Lincoln Steffens, the 
seasoned, crusading newspaperman, speaks of his childhood. He 
points a finger at parents and ignorance in relating an incident 
that produced an ugly effect on his child-mind, when at the age 
of six he first learned about sex from a nine-year-old. 

"Parents seem to have no recollection and no knowledge of how 
early the sex-life of a child begins. I was about six years old when 
I built a hut in a tree, which was a wigwam to me, a cache; it was 
a safe place in which to hide from and watch the world below. 
. . . One day a big boy eight or nine years old came along 
under my tree looking for figs. He saw my hut; he spied my two 
spying eyes. 

" 'What ye think you're doing?' he demanded. 

" 'Nothing/ I answered. 

"He climbed up the tree, crept into my hut, looked it over, ap- 
proving with his nodding head; then he looked at me. I shrank 
from that look. I didn't know why, but there was something queer 
in it, something ugly, alarming. He reassured me, and when I was 
quiet and fascinated, he began there in that dark, tight, hidden 
little hut to tell me and show me sex. It was perverse, impotent, 
exciting, dirty it was horrible, and when we sneaked down into 
the nice, clean dust of the sunlit ground I ran away home. I felt 
so dirty and ashamed that I wanted to escape unseen to the bath- 
room, but my mother was in the living-room I had to pass through, 
and she smiled and touched me fondly. Horrid! 

" 'Don't, oh don't!' I cried, and I shrank away appalled. 

" 'Why! What is the matter?' she asked, astonished and hurt. 

" 'I dunno,' I said, and I ran upstairs. Locking the bathroom door 
I answered no calls or knocks. I washed my hands, my face, again 
and again till my father came home ... I would not let anyone 
I loved touch me: all signs of affection recalled and meant some- 
thing dirty, but fascinating, too." 

This childhood experience of Lincoln Steffens is not to be taken 

348 Psychology for the Millions 

lightly. Psychiatrists have traced adult neuroses and psychoses to 
milder, childhood sexual agitations. Steffens does not say spe- 
cifically what sexual behavior took place. We may venture a 
guess that one aspect of it was boyhood masturbation. There may 
also have been a demonstration of homosexuality. Whatever it was, 
it certainly created a psychic upheaval and lasting impression on 
the child's mind. 


How could Lincoln Steflfens' parents have prepared him to meet 
and cope with uninvited sexual vulgarity ? How could the parents 
and the school have saved Parris and Renee from indulging in 
sexual intercourse at the age of fourteen ? How can modern par- 
ents retain the chastity of their children ? How can the annual roll 
of 36,000 fatherless infants be prevented ? How is venereal disease 
to be stamped out? What are mothers to do about childhood 
masturbation ? What is the best procedure for insuring wholesome 
sex behavior in normal humans? 

Only with many misgivings can one attempt an answer to these 
problems. The solutions present a thousand pitfalls. Many superior 
minds have wrestled with these societal thorns. Few are in agree- 
ment as to the wisest approach. Priests and atheists, sophisticates 
and puritans, Freudians and Behaviorists, teachers and pupils, 
libertines and virgins all stand ready to hiss or cheer every implica- 
tion of sexual indulgence or abstinence that an answer carries. 

In my thinking on the problem of sex education I am not 
bound to, or sold on, any school of thought. I have listened at- 
tentively and learned from general psychologists, Freudian psy- 
chologists, psychiatrists, doctors, sociologists, and all who could 
shed light on the subject. I have read hundreds of treatises and 
borrowed freely the authors' views. Most importantly, I have 
learned lessons from children and adolescents by observing their 
behavior, recording their queries, and assisting in their guidance. 

Tell 'em, Tell 'em; What to Tell Them ? 349 

In all that follows, my prime concern is the psychological equa- 
nimity and mental health of the child, the adult, and society. 


In our attitude toward sexual guidance there is no room for 
impractical prejudices of a moral or secular nature. In the same 
vein, individual thinkers responsible for the welfare of youngsters 
should refrain from promoting ideas about nudism, trial marriage, 
free love, polygamy or polyandry; not for reasons of inherent sin- 
fulness or criminal wrong, but rather because such practices place 
the individual out of step with the society in which you are pre- 
paring him to live. 

It is well to remember that sinfulness and holiness, lawful right 
and wrong are not inherent in sex behavior. Right and wrong in 
sex exists only as it is set up by a particular social, religious, gov- 
ernmental, or tribal group. For example, Professor Malinowski 
points out that in the Trobriand Islands, as soon as the children 
are old enough to mate they form impermanent sex unions. 
Among the Islanders there is neither religious nor sexual disap- 
proval of young people sleeping together, although their eating 
together would be strongly disapproved. It seems that the youth- 
ful sex matings are temporary unions which lead ultimately to the 
choice of a life partner. Eating at one table is considered a symbol 
of marriage and unless the fellow is going to marry the girl he is 
not supposed to eat with her though he may sleep with her on 
Trobriand Island. 

Nor is there very much of instinct or naturalness in the patterns 
of human sex behavior. If our children had no precedent by which 
to be guided, we couldn't say whether the male or female would 
be the aggressor. Margaret Mead, in her book, Sex and Tempera* 
ment in Three Primitive Societies has given an interesting account 
of the extent to which sex behavior can be varied. She describes the 
people of three New Guinea tribes. Of one group, called the 

35O Psychology for the Millions 

Arapesh, Miss Mead says, "We found no idea that sex was a 
powerful driving force for either men or for women." Among the 
second tribe, the Mundugumor, "the men and women developed 
as ruthless, aggressive, positively sexed individuals." In the third 
group, the Tchambuli, "there was found a genuine reversal of the 
sex attitudes of our own culture." 

Here are three groups of humans differing radically in their 
sexual relationships. In one, both men and women are moderately 
motivated by sex. In a second, both are sexually forceful. In a 
third, the female is the aggressor. In each, the members have 
learned to behave according to the tribal ways. We may take this 
as an excellent gage of the malleability of human behavior. How- 
ever, it is not the full story. 


It would be wrong to believe that every individual can be 
molded by training to conform to a given pattern of sex behavior. 
Within the three New Guinea tribes there are many members 
who by nature cannot and do not conform. Training and social 
pressure are not strong enough to overcome their inner urges and 
keep them in line. For example, in the meek tribe of the Arapesh 
they have what Margaret Mead describes as the convenient cus- 
tom for a man to have two wives. As she says, "when one is men- 
struating, he has another one to cook for him. If he lives with 
both, the taboo of pregnancy is relieved. If one wife has a small 
child, the other can accompany him on his longer expeditions." 
All this sounds very smooth and we should expect no trouble 
along these lines. But such is not the case. 

Despite the fact that from childhood on, an Arapesh boy is 
trained to supply food and keep for his first child-wife-to-be, he 
sometimes rebels and goes off with his second wife. He will thus 
leave his first wife whom he has fed from childhood in his father's 
house. Miss Mead cites other cases in which the wife rebels, and 
leaves the community to find a husband in a neighboring tribe. 

Tell 'em, Tell 'em; What to Tell Them? 351 

Another example of inner drives resisting behavior training, is 
Miss Mead's account of the Dakota Indians. Among these hardy 
people of the plains, from the age of five, every effort is bent to- 
ward shaping the boy "into an indubitable male." Every sign of 
timidity is interpreted as an indication that the boy will not de- 
velop into a sturdy man. And there arc many males who give up 
the struggle of conforming to the masculine role. They don the 
clothes of the female and take on the occupations of a woman. 
These are known as the bcrdachc. In our society they are termed 
homosexuals or inverts. 

In the western world, one of the most gripping and sympathetic 
illustrations of a case of homosexualism was drawn by the late 
RadclvflFe Hall. In her novel of 1928 she shocked an army of 
ostrichized puritans to whom the word homosexual was taboo. 
The exquisitely written story of the girl, Stephen Gordon, por- 
trayed in the Well of Loneliness, is truly a literary and psycho- 
logical classic. While the child was yet at kindergarten-age, the 
parents, Anna and Philip, began to suffer unspoken tortures as the 
signs of their offspring's difference impinged itself in subtle ways 
upon their mind. 

Note the tragedy in these lines in which Miss Hall describes the 
mother's uncertain mental state resulting from her failure to fully 
comprehend the subtle queerness that she feels but does not under- 
stand in her own child: "Anna, looking gravely at her daughter, 
noting the plentiful auburn hair, the brave hazel eyes that were so 
like her father's as indeed were the child's whole expression and 
bearing, would be filled with a sudden antagonism that came very 
near to anger. . . . It would seem to Anna that she must be going 
mad, for this likeness to her husband would strike her as an out- 
rage as though the poor, innocent seven-year-old Stephen were 
in some way a caricature of Sir Philip; a blemished, unworthy, 
maimed reproduction yet she knew that the child was hand- 


Stephen, on her part, was a high-strung, intelligent, misbehaving 

Psychology for the Millions 

child given to frequent temper tantrums due to the inner turmoil 
caused by her difference, of which she herself was not fully aware. 
At seven the child developed an unwholesome love-attachment 
to Collins, the housemaid. This came to an unhappy end when 
the child, in a fit of blind anger, threw a flower-pot at the coach- 
man because she saw him kissing the maid, Collins, in the garden. 
Philip Gordon, by this time aware of the anachronism of his 
daughter, smoothed the episode over by dismissing the housemaid 
and the coachman. 

In Stephen we see the unfortunate, biological homosexual, who 
is so because of some endocrine or as yet unknown innate influ- 
ence. With the same keen insight, Miss Hall pens an equally sensi- 
tive description of the several types of sexually inverted humans 
whom we popularly term homosexual and lesbian. This daring 
book on a tabooed subject made one of the first enlightened bids 
for the understanding of a little-understood group of strange and 
lonely personalities in our midst; unfortunates who are so often 
the victims of their biological heritage as well as of a blameworthy 
social heritage. 

We have seen two sets of circumstances in the formation of 
sexuil behavior. In the one, training is undeniably the potent 
force. In the second, the biological or hereditary make-up pri- 
marily influences the course of action. It is quite obvious that the 
sexual personality is not dependent upon any simple set of fac- 
tors. It is, in fact, a resultant of the combined elements of inher- 
ited body and glandular make-up, emotional training, attitudinal 
influences, social contacts, intelligence, climate and geography. 


No modern interpretation of the psychology of sex develop- 
ment in humans would be complete without mention of Sigmund 
Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. Although many .of the 
Vienna doctor's theories are yet much disputed, his profound 
effect on the advancement of psychological thought in the face of 

Tell 'em, Tell 'em; What to Tell Them ? 353 

universal opposition cannot be discounted. He gave impetus to 
the important practice of seeking the reason or motives behind 
all kinds of behavior, if we would understand that behavior. Dr. 
Freud showed that many neuroses arose from conflicts within the 
individual rather than solely as a result of external, emotional 
shock. He high-lighted the concept of unconscious mechanisms 
as containing the basis for adult attitudes and behavior. He focused 
attention on the importance of the life of the infant and young 
child in shaping the adult produo . 

Freud's major premise on the cause of neurotic conditions finally 
revolved about the idea of repressed, infantile sexuality, which he 
arrived at by means of psychoanalysis and dream analysis. Most 
of the controversy on Freudian psychoanalysis has centered about 
his theories of the stages in infant sexuality and dream analysis. 

To the scientifically trained student the Freudian ideas of dream 
analysis and infantile sexual complexes with their many refer- 
ences to mythology, folklore, and racial inheritances are extremely 
difficult to swallow. Having been nurtured on experiments, statis- 
tics, laboratory methods, and things scientific, I hereby voice my 
disbelief in this aspect of the Freudian offerings. The reader will 
note that I said "disbelief" and not prejudice. I have examined 
and studied these parts of the theories with which I do not hold. 
Although personally unwilling to digest the following concepts 
of sexual complexes and dream analysis I shall attempt to describe 
them faithfully, though briefly. 

According to Freudian theory, the "oral-erotic" stage is the first 
phase in which the infant obtains sexual satisfactions by way of 
the mouth. Oral sexual pleasure is derived originally in nursing, 
then in thumb sucking, nail biting, and chewing. The "anal- 
erotic" stage follows. In this, sexual pleasure is derived from the 
eliminative functions; first from expulsion and later from reten- 
tion of bowel contents. This is displaced by the early "genital 
stage" in which the pleasure obtained from manipulation of the 
sex organs is discovered and utilized. 

354 Psychology jot the Millions 

At about the age of thre to four the "Oedipus complex" enters 
the picture. In the boy, this arises from his thwarted sex urge to 
love his mother. The name has reference to Oedipus, the lame 
hero of the Greek legend who killed his father and then married 
his mother without knowing that they were his parents. Hence 
the reference to a supposed unconscious desire in the child to jeal- 
ously exterminate his father, who stands as the obstacle to his 
unconscious desire for incest with the mother. 

Associated with the Oedipus complex is the "castration com- 
plex." Because of his hostility toward the father, the boy uncon- 
sciously fears that his father will retaliate by depriving him of his 
genitals. At one time the Freudians described the castration com- 
plex as due to actual parental threats to cut off the genitals when 
the child was discovered playing with them, but later changed the 
theory. In little girls the castration complex is supposed to repre- 
sent her disturbance about not having a penis. She blames her lack 
on the mother and turns to father Jove as a compensation for her 
lack of malencss. 

All of the above is supposed to have been developed as a result 
of Freud's psycho-analysis of his patients. In the analysis, the 
patient lies on a couch and talks freely of things that disturb him 
or her. Most importantly, the contents of daily dreams are ana- 
lyzed. Freud and his followers believe they are able to find sym- 
bolically disguised meanings in the contents of the dreams. To 
illustrate dream interpretations I shall quote at length from Dr. 
Louis Berg's book, The Human Personality, in which he gives 
examples of common Freudian symbol-meanings. 

Dr. Berg writes: "Symbols have both a racial and an individual 
basis; many are based upon myths, legends, folklore, and the 
common archaic material of the race. But above all, we must 
recognize that, most often, we deal not as much with individual 
symbols which are few in number as with racial symbols. The 
thigh, the staff, and the snake are well-recognized universal sym- 
bols for the phallus and for the associated qualities such as power, 

Tell 'em, Tell >em; What to Tell Them? 355 

domination, and procreation. The male organ is not infrequently 
referred to in conversation as a staff, the physical similarity making 
it a convenient symbol for those ignorant of or ashamed to use 
the scientific term. King and queen stand for father and mother; 
parting is the symbol for death. 

"A house is a fairly well-known dream symbol for the body 
the 'house' of the soul: thus, a tall building in a dream refers to a 
tall person; a low building to a short one. The foot is a phallic 
symbol as seen in dreams. Although it may mean speed and power 
also, it has, in the myths of the race, come to stand for fertility. 
The gods are frequently pictured making corn, wheat, and flowers 
grow where their feet have trod upon the earth. Civilized man, 
with his fitting of the feet with sandals or shoes, has increased the 
archaic value of this sexual symbol. 

"Fire is frequently a symbol of love. In our minds, the implica- 
tion of passion is heat: we speak of people aflame with love, com- 
pare love to a fire that burns fiercely and then dies down; and the 
constant colloquial and literary use of this metaphor helps to carry 
over the symbol into our dreams. The lion is a universal symbol 
for courage; the tiger for ferocity of attack; the oak for sturdiness. 
There are also linguistic connections between symbols and the 
idea they call forth in a dream: thus, a man who thinks of him- 
self as fast on his feet, dreams of a race between two deer in which 
the smaller one wins. The explanation is that he is a small man 
who symbolizes himself as quick as a deer, and that he conquers 
his opponent in real life, through a dream." 

In this quotation from Dr. Berg you see an example of rather 
complete acceptance of Freudian thought by a medical doctor. 
However, in the medical profession itself there is no general ac- 
ceptance of psychoanalysis as a valid psychological theory or as a 
method of treating mental patients. In view of the huge number 
of war veterans requiring psychiatric assistance it may be well for 
the reading public to examine critically what psychoanalysis has 
to offer. This is especially needed at a time when popularized ac- 

356 Psychology for the Millions 

counts have given a false security to the mental healing values of 
psychoanalysis, which, at best, is a very expensive affair, even on a 
trial basis. 

The renowned physician, Dr. Robert F. Morris, in his autobiog- 
raphy, Fifty years A Surgeon, gets a few thoughts off his chest 
about Freudian theories. Says Dr. Morris: "When Freudian 
methods arrived I gave them a trial, in order to obtain first-hand 
impressions of their working. Patients of mine were subjected to 
mental manhandling and none of them gained any lasting bene- 

Elsewhere Dr. Morris asks, "How about these sexual tend- 
encies ? The dowser with his divining rod finds that it turns to- 
ward whatever he is looking for. ... So it is with Freud the sex 
dowser, who looks for sexual repression because he can find that 
in pretty nearly everybody a good safe bet." 

In criticism of the psychoanalyst's unscientific approach the 
surgeon states: "Freud followed the inductive method, obtaining 
what he told us were general principles derived from particular 
cases. He pretended to obtain genuine principles from just one 
particular case of an hysteric. He failed to use controls and simply 
asserted as fact beliefs based upon intuition the worst crime that 
is known to science." 

Dr. Morris follows up his condemnation with faint praise and 
more criticism. He adds: "Yet, by way of intuition he [Freud] 
has brought in original suggestions of so much significance that 
the effort at refuting his theories has resulted in orderly analysis 
of mental processes to an extent hitherto unknown. He has given 
us extremely convenient working terms, although most of his 
complexes, fixations and categories are, to my mind, museum 
spiders fixed with pins and classified by the janitor." 

Representing the attitude of the majority of academic psychol- 
ogists, Professor Laurance Shaffer gives his critique. He says: "In 
short, the psychoanalytic theories represent a fund of hypothesis 
created with romantic freedom, but never confirmed bv anv test 

Tell 'em, Tell 'em; What to Tell Them? 357 

acceptable to scientific method. Factually, psychoanalysis has 
hardly a leg to stand on." 

To my mind, an excellent characterization of the Freudian 
offerings, is contained in a caption to a letter by psychologist Max 
Talmey reprinted in the editorial column of the New Yor^ Sun. 
It reads: "Freud's psychoanalysis Part Old and Part New, Part 
Delusion and Part True." 

Having previously voiced my personal leanings, it is my sincere 
hope that the reader will not be satisfied with this cursory treat- 
ment of the subject. In fairness to yourself and psychoanalytic 
thought, I would urge you to read critically the writings on psy- 
choanalysis by psychoanalysts. The Basic Writings of Sigmund 
Freud, edited by Dr. A. A. Brill, is a good volume for a start. Leav- 
ing you with that book in your hand we return to the problem of 
guidance in the development of sex behavior. 


Whether or not she has faith in Freud, the modern mother can 
be thankful to him for emphasizing that sexuality appears in in- 
fancy. One of the first sexual problems to worry the mother is 
"masturbation" by her two-year-old infant. On this question Dr. 
Helen T. Woolley of Columbia University states, "It is now gen- 
erally conceded that infants and young children almost universally 
find out that pleasant sensations are aroused by manipulating the 
sex organs and frequently adopt the habit for a time." 

The unprepared mother, discovering a two-year-old playing 
with his or her genitals, is flabbergasted. Regardless of whether we 
call it masturbation, the fact remains that babies find pleasure in 
handling their sex organs. Miss Woolley tells us that even before 
its scientific recognition "unscrupulous nurses knew that infants 
could be kept quiet by stroking and pressing the child's sex organs, 
and practiced the art." 

The importance of these facts is the recognition that manipula- 
tion of their sex organs on the part of infants is normal. In man- 

358 Psychology for the Millions 

aging the young child no fuss should be made over the matter. 
Studying a group of nursery school children, Dr. M. S. Dillon 
found that ordinarily, the children make no attempt to conceal 
play with their sex organs or show signs of guilt or shame when 
observed. This is the basis for the modern psychologist's advice 
that the mother should act unconcerned about the baby's fondling 
of the sex organs. Implications to the child that it is shameful and 
naughty will not stop him. The effect of scolding and punishment 
will be to cause the child to practice it in secrecy and feel self- 

To prevent the habit in young children it is important to \eep 
the genital areas clean, dress the child in loose clothing, and pro- 
vide toys and things to occupy idle hands. Lying in bed or lolling 
in the tub with nothing to do, sets the stage for masturbation. Toys 
strung across both the tub and crib arc advisable. Tying the child's 
hands and other forms of corporal punishment are ill-advised, in- 
effectual barbarisms. 


Questionnaires on the prevalence of masturbation among teen- 
age boys and girls show that it is quite common. There is a trite 
expression on the subject of masturbation among boys to the effect 
that "nine out of ten masturbate and the tenth one lies about it." 
Studies by psychologists indicate that from 70 to 90 percent of 
males admit to having masturbated during adolescence. In fe- 
males the percentage is lower, ranging in various questionnaires 
between 30 and 70 percent. 

What should parents do about adolescent masturbation ? Very 
little, we say. It might be casually discouraged if the occasion war- 
rants it. The boy or girl observed to be masturbating should be 
informed in a calm tone and attitude that it is a youthful habit 
which they should outgrow. That when marriage takes place, 
masturbation will be superfluous. If the boy or girl is not seen but 
the habit is suspected, do not spy or try to catch the youngster in 

Tell 'em, Tell 'em; What to Tell Them? 359 

the act. At some appropriate time make the subject a topic of con- 
versation and ask the boy or girl how often masturbation is prac- 
ticed. Then indicate that self control is desirable. But before this 
attitude of casual inquiry is assumed, be quite certain that mas- 
turbation is taking place or else you might be suggesting an un- 
necessary practice. We might further recommend that the four- 
teen-year-old be permitted to read this section. Let us review a few 
of the medical and psychological facts about this sexual bugaboo. 

Masturbation has no ill effects on the mind or the body. Medical 
authorities do not know of any mental or physical defect that re- 
sults from so-called overindulgence in masturbation. Just as there 
is no criterion for judging overindulgence in sexual intercourse, 
so too with masturbation. Marie Kopp in her book, Birth Control 
In Practice, relates that the reported frequency of sex indulgence 
among many thousands of married couples questioned, varied 
from daily occurrence to indulgence once in several months. Dr. 
Fritz Kahn tells of a pastor, married over a period of twelve years, 
who practised intercourse with his wife three times daily. He de- 
scribes a dying soldier on a battlefield in Flanders who gave the 
doctor a letter written to his bride. In it was contained the in- 
formation that in his last experience with his wife the soldier had 
satisfied her seven times in succession and promised to make it 
eleven if he returned. The story is told about Prince Conti at the 
court of Louis XV who left a record of 1200 sexual relations with 
as many ladies over a period of several years. The pastor, the 
soldier, and the Prince are types that have been referred to as 
"sexual athletes." Although primarily a source of morbid interest, 
their capacities give an indication of the theoretical maximum. 

Organically, there is no difference between sexual intercourse 
and masturbation. The glands and organs do not differentiate be- 
tween the source of the stimulus in producing the resulting 
orgasm. Hence the answer to the question of excessive self-stimu- 
lation is the same as that for sexual intercourse; namely, if it rel- 
ishes it nourishes. 

360 Psychology for the Millions 

One of the prime dangers of masturbation is that individuals 
who become too accustomed to the practice may not find adequate 
satisfaction in the later marital experience of sexual intercourse. 
The situation may be likened to the tennis enthusiast who plays a 
whale of a game in singles, but finds difficulty adapting his style 
of play for doubles. This condition is much more prevalent in 
girls. Prolonged practice of masturbation is thought to be one of 
several causes of frigidity in married women. Generally, the most 
important ill associated with masturbation is the morbid anxiety 
that comes from mistaken attitudes about it. 

The false notions of shame, timidity, feelings of inferiority, and 
fear about loss of manhood due to masturbation, have been spread 
by ignorance and misguided taboo. The shame and mental 
anguish suffered by young Lincoln Steff ens as a result of his child- 
hood sex experience is a perfect example of the ill effects of mis- 
information. Either by his parents or others he had been told that 
this sex act was "bad, horrible, and shameful." So he plagued him- 
self for his "fascination by it." 

Theodore Dreiser, as a youth, read the bugbears of quack doc- 
tors and fanatics who wrote about "masturbatory madness," "mas- 
turbator's heart," "slaves of sin," "atrophy of the organ" and 
ranted about the resulting impotence. The author of An Amer- 
ican Tragedy candidly relates in his autobiography that because 
of such literary tripe, he considered himself sexually incapable and 
withdrew from his student friends with feelings of self reproach, 
depression, and fear that he would "shamefully" betray his sexual 

Many young college students have come to the writer with the 
tale that they felt they were "losing their grip on themselves" be- 
cause they couldn't control the urge to masturbate. My character- 
istic reply has been, "Don't worry about it. Masturbation will not 
wear you out physically or mentally. You'll not become neurotic 
or psychotic because of it. You won't get pimples from it, nor will 

Tell 'em, Tell 'em; What to Tell Them ? 361 

indulgence make pimples disappear. You won't lose your man- 
hood, become a homosexual, turn pervert or end up feebleminded 
because you masturbate. Nobody can know that you masturbate 
by the appearance of your sex organs or any other part of your 
body. Almost every male either habitually masturbates or indulges 
in sexual intercourse at college age. So if you feel a strong urge to 
masturbate, do not brood over it, do so and enjoy it. Just remem- 
ber; masturbation is neither sinful nor degrading, but merely a 
second rate substitution until you are married." 


Authorities agree that it is best to tell the child the true facts 
about sex rather than fairy tales. And the sincere mother who 
faithfully reads the newspaper columns on Parents and Children 
complains: "Everyone says tell them, tell them, but what should 
I tell them? About the birds and the flowers? I don't know 
enough about it myself. And besides, my kids don't ask about 

Mother is right. Both this writer and child psychologists are in 
sympathy with her needs. To meet her demands, I have gathered 
a cross section of psychological thought, stirred them up with my 
own, and am ready to tell you "what to tell them." 

As important as knowing what to tell the child about sex, is 
when to tell it. In general, the best time to teach and guide chil- 
dren in sex matters is when they ask questions about it. There's 
one hitch here. Certain children, especially the intelligent and 
sensitive ones, learn that sexual matters are indelicate, and so they 
become ashamed to ask such questions. Is the parent and teacher 
to refrain from teaching these children? No, in all such cases, the 
subject should be broached at the proper times in the development 
of the child. For this purpose we shall describe the sex sequences 
that most children seem to go through, and associate with each the 
appropriate attitudes and information. 


Psychology for the Millions 

NEA Service Inc. 

"My aunt is so mysterious about where my little baby sister 
came from that I'm beginning to think she doesn't know!" 


The one- and two-year infant gives and needs affection from its 
mother. In reaction to the modern ideas of refraining from han- 
dling the child for fear of spoiling him, Dr. Margaret Riddle em- 
phasizes that cuddling the infant in the arms and singing lullabies 
provides a much needed feeling of sensorv security. Fondling, 

Tell 'em, Tell 'em; What to Tell Them? 363 

caressing, and rocking the baby has a deep emotional significance 
of which the child must not be deprived. This constitutes the love- 
life of the infant. It represents the mother Jove that babies cry for. 
From her practice, Dr. Riddle has described some amazing cures 
among sick waifs, who responded only after obtaining this vital 
cuddling as a symbol of mother Jove. 


At about two and a half, the baby becomes curious about the 
parts of the body. The answers to questions about the sex organs 
should be given in the same manner as the replies pertaining to 
the eyes, nose, and ears. The male sex organs should be termed 
the penis and the female organ the vagina. No intimation of 
naughtiness or nastiness should ever be attached to any mention 
of the sex parts. 

The proper names for any of the body structures should be given 
along with a description of their use equal to the child's compre- 
hension. The parts that are usually avoided or given fanciful 
names include the breast, nipple, navel, belly, vagina, penis, fore- 
s\in, scrotum, testicle, buttock,, and rectum. In advising that 
mothers use these proper names, Dr. Benjamin Gruenberg re- 
lates an incident relative to a child's use of a familial term. When 
he first went to kindergarten, Herbert came home with the tale 
that, "Harold is a dumb-bell. Whenever the teacher says, 'atten- 
tion,* he thinks it means going to the toilet." 

"Harold was probably not a dumb-bell," Dr. Gruenberg ex- 
plains. "It was unfortunate that the family had removed from the 
rich English language a word for which they apparently had no 
other use and applied it in their own peculiar way." 


To avoid undue curiosity or false modesty, parents are advised 
to allow the two- and three-year-olds to see them nude. Questions 
that parents can expect from this age group are: "Why does 

364 Psychology for the Millions 

mommy have hair? Why do mommy have bumps and me not? 
Why doesn't sister have a penis? Why does sister sit down to 
wee wee?" 

The answers ought to be simple and accurate, such as: "The 
hair and bumps come with growth, like height and daddy's mus- 
cles. Boys have penises but girls have vaginas." The questions and 
answers should be faced with neither self-consciousness nor half 
humorous, adult indulgence. A straightforward, casual attitude is 
most advisable. 

At about age four the inevitable "Where do babies come from ?" 
is asked. No tales of storks or department stores need be offered. 
Simple truths will suffice. Here's an opportunity to give an im- 
portant lesson in elementary biology. That is, "all life comes from 
life." The child's question is not sexy, it is intellectual. He has the 
same curiosity about the origin of babies as about the ring of the 
telephone. The answer about babies rates the same treatment as 
the origin of the telephone buzzer. 

You might say that babies grow in their mother's body, just 
as puppies come from mother-dogs and kittens come from 
mother-cats. This may hold the child for a minute, a day, or a 
month, but from time to time he will probe for more informa- 
tion. The child will ask, "How did the baby get in? How does it 
come out ? Why don't all mothers have babies ? What does daddy 
do ? Why do mothers get fat ? Can I have a baby ?" 


The answers to these, sometimes laugh-provoking pundits, 
should be given with candor and geared to the child's ability to 
assimilate. Just as you do not tell the four- or six-year-old about 
telephone condensers, transformers, and magnetic lines of force, 
you do not speak of ovulation, Caesarean births, and menstrua- 
tion. However, when the child of five or six asks these questions 
your answers should include the information that two parents 
are necessary for producing life. That the baby develops from 

Tell 'em, Tell 'em; What to Tell Them? 365 

the union of an egg and a sperm. The mother has the egg inside 
her body. Father supplies the sperm which unites with the egg. 
That is why children resemble both their father and mother. 

When the child asks, "How does father supply the sperm?" 
tell him or her. Relate, as Dr. Woolley advises, that "father inserts 
the swimming sperms through the vagina by means of his penis. 
This act is called coitus. One sperm unites with one egg. This is 
called fertilization. The fertilized egg is fed by the mother's blood 
stream through a cord attached to the navel. The fertilized egg 
grows larger and larger through its embryo stages. That's why 
pregnant mothers get fat. After nine months, the embryo is de- 
veloped enough to live outside of the mother. At the hospital, the 
doctor cuts the cord and helps to remove the baby through the 

This story will be over the child's head. The same questions will 
be repeated many times. But the answers will have value. As the 
child matures he will not be faced with the embarrassing knowl- 
edge that his parents duped him with falsehoods about storks or 
doctors bringing babies in satchels or about buying babies in de- 
partment stores. Most importantly, such a youngster will not feel 
hesitation or shame about discussing any sex problem with the 
parents. These plain truths cannot possibly be harmful to the 
young child. As Dr. Helen T. Woolley says in the Mothers En- 
cyclopedia, "the mere fact of sex intercourse has no emotional 
setting and no emotional meaning for the young child. He is in a 
state of mind to accept it as a simple fact of existence, just as he 
accepts the fact that the baby grows inside the mother's body." 


Throughout the period of childhood development there appear 
definite social sexual patterns. Professors E. H. Campbell and C. H. 
Tryon conducted studies in which they took detailed notes about 
children in play situations. They found that generally, boys and 
girls play together with little discrimination until about the age 

366 Psychology for the Millions 

of seven. From seven to twelve, or the beginning of puberty, there 
seemed to be an avoidance of intersex contacts with a preference 
for their own sex. At the beginning of puberty, there was noted 
a "coming out" and an awakening in attraction for the opposite 

The puberty period is followed by the stages of "puppy love," 
"crushes," "going steady" and finally the right man for the right 


At about age twelve to thirteen, the pubertal stage in the girl is 
accompanied by the beginning of pubic hair, enlargement of the 
breasts, and the onset of menstruation. If not prepared for these, 
the young girl will be overly self-conscious about her breasts, and 
alarmed by the menstrual flow of blood. It should be explained 
that the bloody discharge is nothing more than excess mucus, 
tissue, and cellular material that is associated with the functions 
of her ovaries. On this subject there are excellent, little descriptive 
pamphlets addressed to the young girl, which are distributed by 
the manufacturers of sanitary napkins. They can be obtained by 
writing to the makers of Modess, Tampax, Kotex, Velldown, Bel- 
fair, Hollypax, Sanipak, Fibs, and others. The information in 
these booklets prepare the girl on what to expect and what to do 
about her menstrual signs. 

The scientific term for menstruation is "catamenia" from the 
Greek, which literally translated means: occurring monthly. Al- 
though the scientific label is not so important, it is a good idea 
to accustom the young girl to refer to the occurrence as her 
"menstrual period" or as having her "menses," rather than to use 
the dormitory expressions of "the curse," "falling off the roof," or 
"being unwell," with their painful connotations. 

The question of regularity of the menstrual period is always one 
of much concern. A lately familiar phrase based on scientific data 
has it that, "the most regular thing about the menstrual occurrence 

Tell 'em, Tell 'em; What to Tell Them ? 367 

is its irregularity." Even in monkeys, charts of their menstrual 
periods has shown them to vary from twelve-day cycles to forty- 
eight-day cycles. The variations occur from monkey to monkey 
and within the same monkey. However, in monkeys as in humans, 
the majority experience menstrual cycles varying between twenty- 
six and thirty-two days. 

Despite the anciently held belief about the menstrual cycle being 
related to the lunar month, scientific observation by Dr. D. L. 
Gunn and his associates has recently shown the belief to be a 
groundless superstition. In an interesting sidelight, Dr. Ashley- 
Montagu calls attention to the work of Dr. Gunn as successfully 
refuting the elaborate theory of one Dr. Gerson, whom he de- 
scribes as "an over-enthusiastic psychoanalytic writer." The Ger- 
man psychoanalyst theorized that "menstruation probably be- 
came established as a biologico-lunar function as a consequence 
of the sport indulged in by primitive man of hunting his females 
on moonlit nights." Over the course of many such moonlit nights, 
Dr. Gerson suggested, the excessive flow of blood into the woman's 
uterus as a result of the anticipation of the chase developed into 
the external bleeding of menstruation ! A symbolic tale, but scien- 
tifically untrue. 

Like most aspects of the sexual labyrinth, the menstrual phase 
has its share of superstitions and folklore. While there is yet much 
to learn about the changes which occur within the female during 
menstruation, laboratory researchers have separated some of the 
fact from the fiction. And strange to relate, many of the early be- 
liefs and present day baby-carriage conversations by mothers, have 
a basis in laboratory findings. Among the older European beliefs 
is the thought that the touch of a menstruating woman can cause 
flowers and plants to wither, preserves of every sort to spoil, dough 
to fail to rise, and seeds to become unproductive. In French per 
fumeries women are not permitted to work during their menstrua/ 
period. In other industries they are not allowed to pick mush- 
rooms, tend silkworms, handle wine vessels in which fermenta- 

368 Psychology for the Millions 

tion is taking place, or work in the sugar refineries because of 
menstrual contamination. 

Only recently put to test, researchers have found that menstruat- 
ing women secrete a characteristic chemical substance through the 
hands and other sweat glands. The chemical is thought to be an 
alkylamine, most probably trimethylamine, which is known to 
have an odor like that of decomposing fish. Experiments demon- 
strated that cut flowers wilt within ten to twenty minutes in the 
hands of certain women during the first two days of their men- 
strual flow. It was found that exudations of blood, saliva, sweat, 
and tears from menstruating women actually inhibited the fer- 
mentation by yeast, stopped the growth of seedlings, destroyed 
wine-forming ferments, and interfered with the growth of plant 
and animal tissues. Thus were borne out in the scientist's labora- 
tories the European businessman's prohibitions that probably 
arose from practical observations. Other than these, most of the 
ancient, superstitious, menstrual taboos of evil and uncleanliness 
may be regarded as mere ritual. 

More recently, in American beauty parlors, women have whis- 
pered that during the menstrual period a permanent hair-wave 
will not "take" so well. The beauticians disagree with this notion. 
However, Dr. Ashley-Montagu, from whose reports much of the 
above information was obtained, casually looked into the matter, 
and pointed out that during menstruation the bio-electric state 
of the body differs from what it is ordinarily and that this fact 
"may possibly be related to the alleged menstrual hair-wave phe- 
nomenon." Dr. Montagu indicates that "it is a subject that would 
bear investigation." In the meantime it appears that the customer 
is right, as usual. 

Certain characteristics of the girl's menstrual period should be 
made known to males as well as females. They ought to know that 
some young ladies will have to refuse swimming dates or pass 
up dancing invitations because of menstrual discomfort while 
others may not. They might be told that many girls show a mild 

Tell 'em, Tell 'em; What to Tell Them? 369 

facial acne. An unpleasant mouth odor is frequently present at 
the time of the periodic menstrual flow. They can expect an in- 
crease in the amount of perspiration and its accompanying odor. 
In some cases there are characteristic respiratory disorders such 
as a stuffed nose, running nose, or profuse sneezing. Not all of 
these symptoms are present in any one girl. Nor do they always 
appear. They tend to come and go, like the other well known 
menstrual discomforts of the bloated feeling and occasional back- 
ache and headache. 

Older girls and married women experience psychological ups 
and downs a few days previous to and during the menstrual 
period. Some experience unexplainable feelings of depression. 
They will want to cry, and often will cry for no good reason at all. 
Other girls become highly irritable. Some become picayune, a few 
become plain picky, and married women find fault with their 
husbands. These mental disturbances have been recognized from 
the earliest times. There is a report that a medieval Council met 
to discuss the question as to whether or not a woman was to be 
held responsible for her actions during the catamenia. This an- 
cient concept of the relation between the womb and mental con- 
ditions is contained in the word hysteria itself. The Greeks, who 
had a word for everything, seem to have anticipated Freud. Their 
belief that psychological distortion was in some way tied up with 
sexual function is reflected in the fact that the very word hysteria 
is derived from the Greek word for womb\ 

The important aspect of these menstrual, psychological symp- 
toms is to recognize them as normal concomitants of body and 
endocrine glandular changes. Fore-knowledge of these agitations 
goes a long way toward the mental hygiene involved in weather- 
ing them by both sexes. In Cues For You, Mildred Ryan describes 
the clever arrangement that one happily married, middle-aged 
couple had worked out in homage to their vacillating moods. If 
the husband's nerves were jangled after a hard day at the office, 
he would tip his hat over to the wrong side before entering the 

370 Psychology for the Millions 

front door, thus warning his wife to make allowances for his bad 
humor. On the other hand, if the wife wasn't feeling ap to sorts, 
she would greet her husband at the door with her apron worn 
wrong side out. "Besides averting quarrels," Miss Ryan relates, 
"both husband and wife agreed that the element of suspense 
added zest to the homecoming." 

Puberty in the boy occurs a couple of years later than for the 
girl, and is accompanied by its characteristic changes. When the 
young lad's voice begins to deepen, he may find his bed sheets 
stained yellow in the morning. Before this period, his dad or 
hygiene teacher should tell him that a nocturnal emission is nor- 
mal. It is the body's method of eliminating the spermatozoa and 
seminal fluids manufactured by the endocrine glands, and which 
are stored in the testicles or gonads, as they are called. It might 
be added that this is nature's way of helping him to obtain relief 
from sexual tensions. It can be an adequate substitute for mas- 
turbation and sexual intercourse until marriage. On occasion, a 
youngster may experience a mild exudation of a colorless fluid 
after intimate dancing. This is nothing for him to be concerned 
about. It is a physiologically normal escape of seminal fluid, col- 
loquially referred to as "love juice." 


These periods in which the boy and girl "come of age" sexually, 
ought not to be marred by one's moralizing to them about the 
evils of sexual intercourse. Throughout, the attitude in matters 
of sexual manifestations should be aimed at instilling a positive 
outlook of normalcy and naturalness. At no time should the boy 
or girl be imbued with the idea that sex is bad or evil. Such ad- 
monitions cause the girl, especially, to associate an emotional 
reaction of guilt, shame, and aversion toward sex. When marriage 
takes place she cannot by her intellect, a prayer, and a two-dollar 
license effect an about-face in her feelings. What was repellent 

Tell 'em, Tell 'em; What to Tell Them ? 371 


to the emotional appetite yesterday does not become tastefully 
acceptable today. 

I have seen many Jewish friends with a conditioned emotional 
aversion to ham and pork meats, which are forbidden by Hebrew 
dietary law. On more than one occasion these friends have relished 
a ham sandwich, thinking it was corned beef, and even asked for 
second helpings. Upon being told that the "corned beef" was 
really ham, they proceeded to regurgitate against their own will 
and better judgment. The emotional conditioning was obviously 
more powerful than their intellect. So too, with the young mar- 
ried girl who finds herself sexually maladjusted because of a fixed 
premarital distortion that sex is evil. 

Training the boy to place womanhood on a pedestal is equally 
unreal. It is a mistake to teach him to regard girls as sacred, vir- 
tuous creatures to be thought of in terms of his mother or sister. 
Young men who take that type of advice literally, have trouble 
making healthy, heterosexual adjustments. In the marital state, 
their sexual queasiness leads to sexual tensions and frustration. 

Children should be brought up to like sex. The elders should 
realistically teach that sex is enjoyable, normal, and wholesome. 
In this way it will be taken out of the category of "one of those 
things that old fogeys know nothing about." Removing a part of 
its forbidden-fruit flavor will make it more amenable to parental 

This attitude of accepting intersex behavior as normal and nat- 
ural should not be construed as encouraging premarital inter- 
course. Make no mistake about it, it needs to be anticipated and 
guarded against. How then shall we stay this biological threat? 

Preventing premarital sexual intercourse is not accomplished 
in six verbal lessons when Johnny and Mary reach sexteen.* The 
groundwork must have been laid by a foresighted upbringing as 
has been described. However, a few bald truths to the contemplat- 

* Not a printer's error 

372 Psychology for the Millions 

ing cupids in high school and college will not be amiss. Yes, 
sexual intercourse is fun, and is not engaged in solely to beget 
children. All college freshmen know that their parents do not have 
a baby every time they indulge themselves. But to dissuade them 
from attempting this magic formula for having intercourse with- 
out the benefit of children, you must inform them about the 
unreliability of contraception as concerns the unmarried. 

The taboos against educating on the subject of contraception are 
extravagant boomerangs. Dr. Fosdick, the realistic, contemporary 
church figure, has recognized the folly of an ostrich-like treat- 
ment of this subject. "Contraceptive information is being used 
and will increasingly be used," he reminds us; "its misuse can 
wreck our morals, devastate our homes, and despoil our nations, 
and a right employment of it can be of profound benefit, and so 
serious a problem as this cannot be solved by suppression." 

Dr. Fosdick's views are an appeal to common sense. If we sup- 
press the subject, how are we to inform the roadster-riding romeo 
that the "pessary or diaphragm" that he sees advertised in the 
corner drug store is feasible for married women only? That it 
needs to be fitted by a physician. That the married woman who 
uses one, requires one or two teaching sessions by an experienced 
clinical assistant to insure its safe employment. 

Sophomores of both sexes need to be reminded that polite society 
still frowns upon bastards. And if they don't care about what 
others think as they will tell you these ultra-liberals ought to 
be reminded that to be truly democratic they should give the kid 
a say in the matter. 

As for the young lady who is led astray by the seductiveness of 
her own worldly wisdom, I doubt that she knows the true male 
altitude. To five hundred male collegiates, ranging in age from 
seventeen to twenty-three, I put the question, "Would you want 
your wife to have been de-virginated before marriage?" More 
than 95 percent were still old fashioned enough to answer, "No." 
Take heed, girls! 

Tell 'em, Tell 'em; What to Tell Them ? 373 

Here are some facts that may have been forgotten from the 
heart-to-heart talk parents forget to have with the "dangerous 

The first sexual experience of the forbidden-fruit variety is rarely 
a happy venture. It is invariably painful to the feminine partner 
mentally as well as physically. The circumstances are usually such 
as to surround the couple with haste, fear, regret, and anxious 
after-days. It sets up a negative conditioning about the act which 
both male and female cannot easily erase when they arrive at 
the normal state of marital relations. The popular notion that 
sexual release for the male is a biological necessity has no founda- 
tion in scientific fact. The sophomoric didactics espousing the be- 
lief that experience is desirable for preparing one or the other of 
the marital partners is just so much rationalization. It's really 
rather simple. Morons reputedly become experts in short order. 
Why should high I. Q.'s require practice? And the kind of pre- 
marital practice they do obtain is apt to be misleading. 

In Dr. Fritz Kahn's excellent book, Our Sex Life, he boldly 
depicts a living scene of frequently occurring first experiences. 
The young man who has read and dreamed about the "heavenly 
joys of love" has come to a brothel with his comrades after a birth- 
day party. "Instead of the love goddess, the wonder of God, who 
should stand before him, like Venus arisen from the sea in Botti- 
celli's picture and before whom he wanted to kneel until she 
whispered to him: 'arise, beautiful boy, so that I can kiss you!' 
instead of that a half-drunken whore throws herself on a worn-out 
couch and with her cigarette in her mouth rushes him: 'moke 
it snappy!' " 

The engaged couple who feel a special betrothal privilege and 
because of it experiment a bit, are worse off for it. Lovers' quarrels 
may take place before the marriage. The young couple involved 
will feel that they are consummating their union only because of 
"honor." After the marriage, there are bound to be repercussions. 
The neighbor's grass being greener, every man or woman, some- 

374 Psychology for the Millions 

time in their marital career, will feel that they could have done 
better. They will inevitably attribute their plight to that "honor- 
link" that made the marriage a must. 

Aside from dispelling youthful delusions about the lusciousness 
of illicit sexual relations, the realities of venery can be matter- 
of-factly presented. The facts of infection and prophylaxis per- 
taining to the venereal diseases should be intelligently given. 
Horror and intimidation need not be employed. The actual sta- 
tistics that contagion runs as high as fifty percent among prosti- 
tutes and stands at about twenty percent among promiscuous men 
and women is well worth mentioning. Horror stories to the young 
are advised against by psychiatrists because they have seen many 
persons with a syphilophobia. These imaginative souls acquire 
an obsessive fear or neurosis about contracting venereal disease 
from doorknobs, toilet seats, drinking cups, and other articles 
of common contact. Actually, less than one fifth of one percent 
of syphilis is contracted through means other than sexual exposure, 


Having guided, pampered, educated, and admonished the boy 
and girl, the inevitable may occur. The chances of the well taught 
adolescent becoming involved are definitely less than for the 
ignorant or puritanically shielded. However, the inexorable forces 
of body and mind cannot always be stemmed by civilized, man- 
made impediments. Certain primitive groups don't have this prob- 
lem. Among the Smith Sound Eskimos of North Greenland, 
sexual intimacy starts at the age of ten or twelve. In these "less 
civilized" regions, intercourse occurs at the time of biological pre- 
paredness and marriage follows if a child results from the union. 
In our society, frustration, thwarting, and taboos are the slave to 
economic readiness. 

When mishaps of unlicensed sexual indulgence do occur, are 
we to act outrageously and naively tragic, or shall we take a lesson 
from our "less civilized" Greenlanders? Actually, nothing very 

Tell 'em, Tell 'em; What to Tell Them? 375 

drastic has really happened until the distraught parents or laws 
of the land create it. The trouble begins when nineteen-year-old 
boys are sent to reform schools and, if older, to prison, on charges 
of "technical rape" brought by the parents of sexually mature 
fourteen-year-old daughters. The parents of Rene Gyllinson, in 
Henry Bellamann's story, created the tragedy out of what could 
have been a remediable adolescent error. 

Fortunately for our youth, a few social and psychological- 
minded citizens are expending their efforts to reduce the sorrow 
following pre-marital sexual digressions. In New York, the Family 
Bureau of the Community Service Society extends sympathetic 
help to unmarried expectant mothers. During the war they ar- 
ranged proxy marriages between pregnant girls and their fiancees 
in the armed services. Where advisable, they arrange for adop- 
tion of the child. If the mother, who has the final decision, decides 
to face the world with her fatherless child, the Society extends help 
in that direction. The attitude of the organization is to regard the 
condition as a social problem which needs to be treated rather than 

As a supportive note to these policies we might take the views 
of the worldly-wise physician, Dr. Frankwood E. Williams, who 
was much concerned with the problems of youth. Says he: "There 
are good, social reasons for guarding carefully the developing sex 
life of adolescents and guard them wisely we should, but if in the 
difficult process through which they are going things do happen, it 
is better that they do and hetero-sexuality be established than that 
they should not happen and ill health and abnormality be the re- 
sult. I do not say that only one of two things can happen, but if in 
this highly charged situation something does happen, nothing 
really serious has happened until we make it so. Parents should 
keep that in mind." 

While it may sound shockingly radical or revolutionary, the 
counsel given by Dr. Williams is not impractical. Rant and 
preach as we may, extra-marital intercourse has been making the 

376 Psychology for the Millions 

rounds from the time Eve seduced Adam in the Bible story. Nor 
are his ideas of forgiveness and acceptance without precedent. 
When the adulteress was brought to Christ for Him to approve 
her sentence of death by stoning according to the law, He said, 
"He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at 
her." And the Scriptures tell us that every last one of them walked 
out with their hands in their pockets, from the oldest to the 

Dr. Williams' philosophies, expressed twenty years ago, are 
needed more at the present time than ever before, as is the work 
of the Community Service Society which extends a realistic and 
sympathetic hand to unmarried expectant mothers. Neither ado- 
lescents nor sincere parents are entirely to blame for the prevalence 
of sexual lapses. In this airplane age, the worldly condition of 
sexual affairs is in a pilotless tailspin. We seem to be in a state of 
sexual schizophrenia. Reporters, authors, actors, lawyers, and 
people who go to church and to the movies foster the belief of one 
man to one woman "to have and to hold until death do them 
part." At least, they say they do. Yet the sexual scene played by 
and for these very people through the medium of newspapers, 
stage, courtroom, screen, radio, and pulp magazines tears asunder 
whatever ideals one might have about rational or national 

An American soldier is reported to have illegitimate quadru- 
plets by an English girl and there is no great hue and cry against 
him. His children are entitled to support by American taxpayers. 
The newspapers, with some levity, announce the divorce of 
Thomas Manville Jr., 49, asbestos heir, from his thrice-married 
seventh wife, "Sunny" Ainsworth. The marriage lasted 7 hours 
45 minutes, after which, Mrs. Manville number 7 took a train for 
Reno. In the Ziegfeld Follies, the comedian Milton Berle comes 
on stage with the line, "Howdy folks, I'm Tommy Manville, 
what's your hobby?" Appearing in the courts at this time were 
fifteen polygamists convicted of unlawful cohabitation with their 

Tell 'em, Tell 'em; What to Tell Them? 377 

plural wives whom they had been supporting under the funda- 
mentalist sect in Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming. 

Highlighting a list of incidents such as these, columnist Ruth 
Millet casts a few well-aimed darts at our chaotic course of affairs. 
In a piece she captions, Marital Morals, Quite a Riddle, Miss Mil- 
let states: "Society has very good reasons, of course, for condemn- 
ing polygamy. Certainly church leaders have been conducting an 
active fight against divorce abuses. Yet the public exhibits a strange 
blank spot on its attitude toward violations of marital morals. 

"Society considers it all right for a man to have as many wives 
as he wants so long as he lives with them one at a time. But de- 
cency is outraged when a man, with full consent and approval of 
the women themselves, is the husband of several women and the 
support of their children. . . . 

"It's a fine distinction I'd hate to have to try to explain to a won- 
dering adolescent," concludes Miss Millet. 

I'd hate to have to try to explain it to anyone, and won't even, 


LIMITATIONS of space and the popular nature of this book dictate 
against the inclusion of a formal list of footnoted bibliographical 
citations. Nevertheless, I feel a definite indebtedness to the writ- 
ings of many authors from whose works I borrowed freely. It 
would be impractical to name the thousands of books and articles 
consulted in the preparation of this work. However, a listing of 
the references directly quoted would appear to be the minimum 
extent to which I can acknowledge my obligation to the writers 
and publishers, and at the same time serve the reader who wishes 
to delve further into the subjects introduced in these pages. Since 
most of the quotations in the body of the book are identified by 
their authors, the following lists of book and article references are 
arranged alphabetically by author. 


Allport, G. W. Personality: A Psychological Interpretation, Har- 
per and Bros., 1937 

Berg, L. The Human Personality, Prentice-Hall, 1933 
Best, C. H., and Taylor, N. B. The Physiological Basis of Medical 

Practice, Williams and Wilkins, 1939 
Blatz, W. E. The Five Sisters, William Morrow, 1938 
Brill, A. A. The Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud, Random 

House, 1938 
Clendenning, L, The Human Body, Alfred A. Knopf, 1930 

380 Psychology -for the Millions 

Corner, G. W. The Hormones in Human Reproduction, Prince- 
ton University Press, 1942 

Cowles, E. S. Don't EC Afraid, Whittlesey House, 1941 
Crafts, L. W., et al. Recent Experiments in Psychology, McGraw- 
Hill, 1938 

Cronin, A. J. The Keys of the Kingdom, Little, Brown, 1941 
de Kniif , P. Men Against Death, Harcourt, Brace, 1932 
de Poncins, G. Kabloona, Reynal and Hitchcock, 1941 
Deutsch, A. The Mentally III in America, Doubleday, Doran, 1937 
Ewen, D. Men and Women Who Makf Music, Thomas Y. Crow- 
ell, 1939 

Fosdick, H. E. On Being A Real Person, Harper and Bros., 1943 
Fowler, E. Standing Room Only, Dodd, Mead, 1944 
Fowler, G. Good Night, Sweet Prince, Viking, 1943 
Gallico, P. Farewell To Sport, Alfred A. Knopf, 1938 
Garrett, H. E. Great Experiments in Psychology, D. Appleton- 

Century, 1941 
Gesell, A., and Ilg, F. Infant and Child in the Culture of Today, 

Harper and Bros., 1943 
Gray, G. W. The Advancing Front of Medicine, Whittlesey 

House, 1941 
Haggard, H. W. Devils, Drugs and Doctors, Harper and Bros., 

Haggard, H. W. The Anatomy of Personality, Harper and Bros., 


Hall, R. The Well of Loneliness, Blue Ribbon, 1928 
Hertzler, A. The Horse and Buggy Doctor, Harper and Bros., 1938 
Hurlock, E. B. Child Development, McGraw-Hill, 1942 
Husband, R. W. General Psychology, Farrar and Rinehart, 1940 
Jackson, J. Guiding Your Life, D. Appleton-Century, 1937 
Jersild, A. T. Child Psychology, Prentice-Hall, 1940 
Kahn, F. Our Sex Life, Alfred A. Knopf, 1942 
Kretschmer, E. Physique and Character, Harcourt, Brace, 1925 

Bibliographical Acknowledgment 381 

Kugclmass, I. N. Growing Superior Children, D. Appleton-Cen- 

tury, 1935 

Leech, M. Reveille in Washington, Harper and Bros., 1943 
Lombroso, C. The Man of Genius, Walter Scott, 1908 
May, E. C The Circus from Rome to Ringling, Duffield and 

Green, 1932 

Mead, M. Sex and Temperament,. William Morrow, 1935 
Menninger, K. A. The Human Mind, Alfred A. Knopf, 1930 
Monahan, F. Women in Crime, Ives Washburn, 1941 
Moore, L. Artists of the Dance, Thomas Y. Crowell, 1938 
Morgan, C. T. Physiological Psychology, McGraw-Hill, 1943 
Morgan, J. B. Child Psychology, Farrar and Rinehart, 1942 
Morris, R. T. Fifty Years a Surgeon, E. P. Dutton, 1936 
Murphy, G. A Briefer General Psychology, Harper and Bros., 

Nijinsky, R. The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsfy, Simon and Schuster, 

Poling, D. Treasury of Great Sermons, Greenberg Publishers, 


Powers, F. F. Psychology in Everyday Living, D. C. Heath, 1938 
Riddle, M. The Rights of Infants, Columbia University Press, 1944 
Roule, L. Fishes: Their Journeys and Migrations, W. W. Norton, 

Ruch, F. L. Psychology and Life, Scott, Foresman, 1941 

Sargent, S. S. The Basic Teachings of Great Psychologists, Garden 

City, 1944 

Saroyan, W. My Name Is Aram, Harcourt, Brace, 1937 
Scheinfeld, A. You and Heredity, Frederick A. Stokes, 1939 
Schulberg, B. What Maizes Sammy Run, Random House, 1941 
Shaffer, L. F. The Psychology of Adjustment, Houghton Mifflin, 

Sheldon, W. H. The Varieties of Human Physique, Harper and 

Bros., 1940 

382 Psychology for the Millions 

Starch, Daniel, ct al. Controlling Human Behavior, Macmillan, 

Steffens, L. The Autobiography of Lincoln Steffens, Harcourt, 

Brace, 1931 

Stoddard, G. D. The Meaning of Intelligence, Macmillan, 1943 
Stopes, M. Change of Life in Men and Women, Putnam, 1936 
Teagarden, F. Child Psychology for Professional Workers, Pren- 
tice-Hall, 1940 

Trumbull, R. The Raft, Henry Holt, 1942 
Tully, J. A Dozen and One, Murray & Gee, 1943 
Valentine, W. L. Experimental Foundations of General Psychol- 
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Waller, W. Veteran Comes Bac^ Dryden Press, 1944 
Warren, H. C, and Carmichael, L. Elements of Human Psychol- 
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Whitney, D. D. Family Treasures, Jacques Cattell Press, 1942 
Williams, F. E. Adolescence, Farrar and Rinehart, 1925 
Wolf, S. J. Drawn from Life, Whittlesey House, 1932 
Woodson, M. Behind the Door of Delusion, Macmillan, 1932 
Woodworth, R. S. Psychology, Henry Holt, 1940 
Young, K. Personality and Problems of Adjustment, F. S. Crofts, 

Zinsser, H. As I Remember Him, Little, Brown, 1940 


Alexander > J. "The Girl from Syracuse." Saturday Evening Post, 
May 18 and 28, 1940 

Ashley-Montagu, M. F. "Physiology and the Origins of the Men- 
strual Prohibitions." Quarterly Review of Biology, June, 1940 

Beatty, J. "Interpreter of the Timid Soul." National Home 
Monthly, Dec. 1937 

Blakeslee, A. F. "Demonstration of Differences Between People in 
the Sense of Smell." Scientific Monthly, July, 1935 

Bibliographical Acknowledgment 38 j 

Buck, E. B. "The Necessity for Sex Education." American Mer- 
cury, May, 1939 

Chamberlain, J. "Fadiman for the Millions." Saturday Evening 
Post, Jan. n, 1941 

Crockett, A. "Should the Schools Teach Sex?" Liberty, Sept. 14, 

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de Seversky, A. P. "I Owe My Career to Losing a Leg." LadieS 
Home Journal, May, 1944 

Ford, N., and Mason, A. D. "Taste Reactions of the Dionnc 
Quints." Journal of Heredity, March, 1940 

Gardner, I. C., and Newman, H. H. "Mental and Physical Traits 
of Identical Twins Reared Apart." Journal of Heredity, March, 

Graffis, H. "The Sporting Scene." Esquire, February, 1944 

Griffin, D. R., and Galambos, R. "The Sensory Basis of Obstacle 
Avoidance by Bats." Journal of Experimental Zoology, 1941 
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Gundlach, R. H. "Directional Sense in Cats." Journal of Com- 
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Harding, V. J. "Metabolism In Pregnancy." Physiological Review, 

Herrick, F. H. "Homing Powers of the Cat." Scientific Monthly, 

Hersey, J. "The Borie's Lost Mile." Life, December 13, 1943 

Johnson, G. E. "Hibernation in Mammals." Quarterly Review of 
Biology, December, 1931 

Johnston, A. "The Magic Lie Detector." Saturday Evening Post, 
April 15, 22, 29, 1944 

Kent, G. "Thoughts in a Foxhole." Reader's Digest, October 1943 

Kent, G. "What We Learn from Children." Readers Digest, 
August, 1943 

384 Psychology -for the Millions 

Kramer, D. "John L. Lewis' Last Bid for Power." Harpers, Au- 
gust, 1942 

Luby, M. "Crimmins, King of the Pins/' Esquire, January, 1944 

MacArthur, J. W. "Genetics of the Quintuplets." Journal of Hered- 
ity, August, 1939 

McCormick, E. "How Your Mind May Make You Sick." Your 
Life, Oct. 1942 

McEvoy, J. P. "He Snoops To Conquer," Saturday Evening Post, 
Aug. 13, 1938 

Norris, K. "Drama in Everyday Life." Readers Digest, June, 1944 

Painton, F. C. "Fighting With 'Confetti'." The American Legion 
Magazine, December, 1943 

Painton, F. C. "No Such Thing As Shell Shock." Readers Digest, 
Oct. 1943 

Peattie, D. C. "First Lady of Hollywood." Reader's Digest, Sep- 
tember, 1943 

Pringle, H. F. "College With An Idea." Saturday Evening Post, 
Oct. 14, 1944 

Riis, R. W. "The Repair Man Will Gyp You If You Don't Watch 
Out." Reader's Digest, July, Aug., Sept., Oct., 1943 

Rowan, W. "Light and Seasonal Reproduction in Animals." Bio- 
logical Review, 1938 

Scheer, B. T. "Homing Instinct in Salmon." Quarterly Review of 
Biology, December, 1939 

Simon, A. "I Couldn't Take It." Esquire, February, 1943 

Sondern, F., Jr. "Murder Is His Business." This Wee\, October, 

Sondern, F., Jr. "There Are No Atheists in the Skies." Air facts, 

Dec., 1943 
Sumner, F. B. "Human Psychology and Some Things That Fishes 

Do." Scientific Monthly, 1939 
Supa, M., Cotzin, M., and Dallenbach, K. M. "Facial Vision." 

American Journal of Psychology, April, 1944 
Taylor, S. "A Regular Feller." Esquire, May, 1942 

Bibliographical Acknowledgment 385 

Walworth, D. "A Woman To Warm Your Heart By." Baltimore 

Sunday Sun, March 5, 1944 
Warner, L. H. "The Present Status of The Problems of Orienta- 

tion and Homing by Birds." Quarterly Review of Biology, June, 

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"Children Can Be Taught Life." Reader's Digest feature, 1943 & 


Adams, Franklin P., 326 
Addison, Thomas, 179 
Adler, Alfred, 223, 260 
Aldrich, Gene, 28 
Allan, Forest, 226 
Allen, Mary, 43 
Anderson, Marian, 37, 38, 54 
Andreyev, L. A., 84 
Aronaucr, M., 115 
Aschheim, 178 
Ashley-Montagu, 367, 368 
Averill, Lawrence A., 152, 153 

Banting, F. J., 59, 180 

Barnard, George G., 116 

Barnum, P. T., 308 

Barr, Stringfellow, 7 

Barrie, Elaine, 242 

Barrymorc, John, 303, 304 

Bardett, F. H., 117 

Baugh, Sammy, 188 

Beatty, Clyde, 84 

Beery, Wallace, 187 

Behee, Clayton, 62, 68, 72 

Bell, Eric, 314 

Bellamann, Henry, 341 

Berg, Louis, 167, 175, 178, 180-184, 


Bergman, Ingrid, 188, 231-232 
Bcrle, Adolph A., Jr., 326 
Berman, Louis, 182-184 
Bernard, Luther L., 101 
Best, C. H., 59, 179-180 
Binet, Alfred, 310 
Bingham, Walter V., 312 . 
Bissonnette, 103 

Blackford, Katherinc M., 196-197 
Blakeslee, Albert F., 47-49 
Blatz, William, m, 117, 147 
Block, Helen, 32 
Booth, John Wilkcs, 218 
Borowski, Alexandre, 43, 55 
Brill, A. A., 357 
Brisbane, Arthur, 248 
Bronncr, Finn J., 115 
Browcr, Harriette, 43 
Browning, Edward W., 248 

Buck, Ellsworth B., 342-343, 345 
Budge, Donald, 62, 64 
Bundesen, Herman N., 122 
Burnham, William H., 211 

Caldwcll, Erskine, 234 
Campbell, E. H., 365 
Cannon, Walter B., 27, 151 
Carlson, A. J., 29 
Carmichael, Leonard, 107, 211 
Carnegie, Andrew, 326 
Carrier, Patricia, 66-67 
Carrier, Sally, 66 
Carver, George Washington, 329 
Chaplin, Charlie, 98, 235 
Chiang Kai-shek, Mme., 232 
Clark, Blake, 14 
Clarke, Ernestine, 62, 67, 72 
Clayton, Lou, 216 

Clendenning, Logan, 23-24, 55-57, 120, 182 
Cohen, Morris R., 255 
Colbert, Claudettc, 276 
Coleman, Ronald, 291 
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, 289 
Commons, John A., 294-295 
Cooke, Alistair, 98 
354" Cooper, Gary, 188 

Corcoran, Charles A., 210 
Cotzin, Milton, 80 
Cox, George, 212 
Crandall, Lee, 75, 99 
Crane, George W., 309 
Crimmins, Johnny, 26 
Crockett, Ann, 343-344, 346 
Cromwell, Dean, 226 
Cronin, A. J., 262 
Crosby, Bing, 229 
Crowley, "Two-Gun," 287-288 
Cruickshank, Allen D., 75 
Cuff, Noel B., 131 
Cugat, Xavier, 37-38 
Curie, Pierre and Marie, 220 

Dafoe, A. R., 209 
Dallenbach, Karl, 80 
Dashiell, John F., 102 
Davidenkov, S., 45 



Index of Names 

Da Vinci, Leonardo, 147 

Davis, Clara M., 119 

Davis, Joan, 188 

DC Haller, 187 

Dcisler, Juanita, 67-68, 71, 208 

Dcisler, Roy, 67, 71-72, 208 

DC Kruif, Paul, 30, 77, 220 

DC Mille, Cecil B., 150, 203, 204, 206 

Dennis, Wayne, 148 

De Poncins, Gontran, 1 49 

De Q. Cabot, 'P. S., 190, 203-204, 206, 209 

De Seversky, Alexander P., 244-245 

Deutsch, Albert, 15, 134 

Didrikson, Mildred, 169-171, 179 

Di Giovanni, 187 

Dillon, M. S., 358 

Di Maggio, Joe, 60, 62, 68 

Dionne quintuplets, 44, in, 117, 147, 209 

Dixon, Harold, 28 

Dorsey, George A., 174 

Dreiser, Theodore, 360 

Dugdale, R. L., 314 

Draper, George, 187 

Dryden, John, 228 

Dubinsky, David, 218, 219 

Dunlap, Knight, 102 

Durante, Jimmy, 211, 215, 228 

Dworkin, D., 84 

Ederle, Gertrude, 222 
Edwards, Jonathan, 259-260 
Einstein, Albert E., 147, 307 
Elder, J.H., 85 
Ellington, Duke, 229 
Ellis, Lyn, 72 
Ellsberg, C. A., 85 
Elrrian, Mischa, 39 
Ernst, Max, 37, 38, 54 
Ewen, David, 60, 237 

Fadiman, Clifton, 326 

Feller, Bob, 63-64, 70 

Fisher, Vardis, 5 

Fell, Frederick, 5 

Flack, Florence, 42 

Flagstad, Kirstcn, 60 

Folcy, John P., in 

Ford, Norma, 44 

Fosdick, Harry Emerson, 262-265, 372 

Fowler, Elizabeth, 256, 266 

Fowler, Gene, 241 

Frankfurter, Felix, 326 

Franklin, Benjamin, 214 

Freeman, Frank, 52, 55 
Friedman, M. H., 178 
Freud, Sigmund, 165, 219, 223, 224, 352- 

Gabriel, Bernard, 277, 278 
Galambos, Robert, 77, 103 
Gallico, Paul, 97, 169, 170, 171, 215, 223, 


Gardner, Hy, 231 
Gardner, Iva, 53, 54 
Garrett, H. E., 199 
Garson, Grcer, 291 
Gehng, Lou, 64 
Gershwin, George, 18, 19, 36 
Gesell, Arnold, 107, 124, 125, 129, 143 
Gluck, Alma, 40 
Goddard, H. H., 314 
Goddard, Paulette, 188 
Goodenough, Florence, 148 
Oosney, E. S., 325 
Graffis, Herb, 70 
Gray, George W., 58 
Griffin, Donald, 77, 103 
Grove, Lefty, 116 
Grucnberg, Benjamin C., 345, 363 
Gunlach, Ralph H., 94 
Gunn, D. L., 367 

Haggard, Howard W., 193, 265 
Hagman, S. R., 251 
Hall, Radclyffe, 351, 352 
Hanson, Frederick, 270, 274 
Harding, V. J., 31 
Harris, Sam H., 308 
Hartridge, H., 77 
Hartshorne, Hugh, u 
Hayes, Helen, 277 
Hecht, S., 87 
Heifetz, Jascha, 60-61, 63 
Henie, Sonja, 37-38, 62, 70 
Herrick, Frances H., 92-93 
Hersey, John, 258, 268 
Hertzler, Arthur, 7, 240, 252, 261 
Hibben, Samuel, 159 
Hippocrates, 172, 185, 187 
Hidcr, Adolph, 287 
Hollingworth, H. L., 211 
Hollingworth, Leta, 328 
Holm, Eleanor, 63, 64 
Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 247 
Holt, E. B., 211 
Holzingcr, Karl, 52 

Index of Names 


Huffine, Dave, 164 

Hungcrford, Frances Irene, 135-136 

Huntsman, A. C., 90, 103 

Husband, Richard, 114, 115, 190, 228 

Hutchinson, G. A., 84 

Huxley, Thomas, 266 

Ilg, Frances, 125, 129 

Jackson, Josephine, 140 

Jackson, Willie, 20 

James, William, 101, 151, 182, 235, 332 

Jastrow, Joseph, 195 

Jefferson, Thomas, 131 

Jcrsild, Arthur T., 113 

Johnson, George E., 98-100, 103, 182 

Johnston, Alva, 10, 212, 162 

Jolson, Al, 277 

Jones, Bobby, 20-21, 60, 62, 64, 70 

Jurine, Louis, 77 

Kahn, Fritz, 359, 373 

Kallman, Franz J., 192 

Kant, Immanuel, 147 

KarlorT, Boris, 188 

Katzman, J., 84 

Kaufman, George S., 5 

Kaye, Danny, 216 

Keeler, Leonard, 10, 162, 164 

Kclley, Fred C., 137 

Kent, George, 3, J53, 267 

Ketcham, H., 158 

Kettering, Charles F., 37 

Kieran, John, 326 

Klineberg, Otto, 190, 199 

Komroff, Manuel, 29 

Kopp, Marie, 359 

Knudsen, William S., 307 

Kramer, Dale, 218 

Kreisler, Fritz, 60-61, 237 

Kretschmer, Ernst, 186-191, 206 

Kugelmass, I. Newton, 131, 143 

Kwalwasser, John, 38 

Lamour, Dorothy, 188 
Lange, Karl G., 151 
Larson, John A., 162 
Lawrence, Gertrude, 139 
Lawton, George, 250 
Lawton, Shailer U., 9 
Lee, Robin H., 63 
Leech, Margaret, 218 
Leonard, William Ellery, 299 

Lerner, Max, 326 
Levant, Oscar, 326 
Lewis, John L., 218 
Lhevinne, Joseph, 40 
Lincoln, Abraham, 218, 290 
Lioy, May, 10 
Litde, Lawson, 62, 70 
Lloyd, Frank S., 205 
Lombroso, Cesare, 289, 290 
Louis, Joe, 24 
Loyal, Justino, 65-66, 73 
Luby, Mort, 26 
Ludgate, K. F., 196 
Lyons, Leonard, 346 

Macaulay, Thomas B., 314 

McCabe, J. R., 84 

McCollum, E. V., 15 

McCormick, Elsie, 240 

McDonald, Mitchell, 212 

McDougall, William, 101 

McEvoy, J. P., 238, 276, 327-3^8, 330 

Mackenzie, Catherine, 132-133 

Malinowsky, B., 349 

Malkin, Ehas, 61, 63 

Mann, Matt, 226 

Marble, Alice, 19, 36 

Martland, Harrison, 20 

Mason, Arnold, 44 

Maverick, Maury, 187 

May, Earl Chapin, 222 

May, Mark A., ii 

Mead, Margaret, 297, 349-350, 351 

Melchior, Lauritz, 39 

Melzora, Buster, 67-68, 72 

Melzora, Roy, 67 

Mencken, H. L., 229 

Menninger, Karl, 223, 290, 296 

Menuhin, Yehudi, 39-40, 54, 60-61, 67 

Meyer, Lou, 222 

Miles, Catherine Cox, 1 68, 326-327 

Mill, John Stuart, 314 

Miller, Lois Mattox, 150 

Millet, Ruth, 377 

Milton, John, 144 

Mjoen, Alfred Jon, 38 

Monahan, Florence, 324 

Moore, Grace, 39, 54 

Moore, H., 319 

Moran, Bugs, 212, 213 

Morgan, John B., 130, 140, 211 

Morris, Robert F., 356 

Murphy, Gardner, 103, 152, 211 


Index of Names 

Naethcr, Carl A., 74, 95, 96 

Naitto, Nio, 60, 65, 72, 208 

Nathan, George Jean, 223 

Neher, Fred, 117 

Nelson, Henry, 207 

Nelson, John, 207 

Newman, Al, 3 

Newman, Horatio, 10, 52-55 

Newton, Isaac, 314 

Nijinsky, Romola, 300 

Nijinsky, Vaslav, 60, 62, 70, 280-282, 304 

Norris, Kathleen, 146 

Odets, Clifford, 5 
O'Hara, B. A., 115 
Ormandy, Eugene, 60-61 
Osier, William, 192 
Owens, Jesse, 60 

Paderewski, Ignace, 61, 70 
Painton, Frederick C., 13, 269 
Parker, Dan, 115 
Pastula, Tony, 28 
Paterson, Donald G., 196 
Pa trie, John, 10 
Pavlov, Ivan P., 155-156 
Pcattic, Donald Culross, 232 
Pcglcr, Wcstbrook, 15 
Persingcr, Louis, 61 
Pctrillo, James C., 218 
Philiptschcnko, J., 38 
Picasso, Pablo, 230 
Pigott, Steve, 135 
Poling, Daniel A., 260 
Pons, Lily, 39 
Popcnoc, Paul, 325 
Pringle, Henry, 6 
Pratt, K. C., 153 

Quiz Kids, 327-3*8, 33<> 

Rasmusscn, A. T., 98 

Rathbonc, Basil, 188 

Rich, W. H., 90 

Richter, Curt, 119 

Rickard, Tex, 308 

Rickenbacker, Eddie, 222 

Riddle, Margaret, 122, 124, 141, 362 

Riis, Roger William, 10 

Ripley, Robert L., 171 

Robbins, Leonard, 141 

Robertson, Lawson, 226 

Robertson, Robert, 212 

Robeson, Paul, 326, 346 

Rockne, Knute, 226 

Rogers, Ginger, 139 

Rome, Howard P., 273 

Rooney, Mickey, 187 

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 188 

Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, 218 

Roth, Hcdwick, 66 

Roule, F. L., 90, 103 

Rowan, William, 88, 96, 103 

Rubinstein, Arthur, 39, 40 

Ruch, Floyd L., 119, 121 

Runyon, Damon, 235 

Russell, William, 180 

Ruth, George Herman, 62, 64, 97-98, 116, 


Ryan, Mary, 63 
Ryan, Mildred, 369-370 

Sachs, Ernest, 180 

Sadler, William, 134 

Saroyan, William, 12 

Saunders, Fred, 227 

Sawin, Bud, 63 

Schcinfcld, Amram, 34, 39, 40, 55, 60 

Schiller, Johann, 213 

Schulberg, Budd, 211, 215 

Schweitzer, Morton D., 40 

Seabrook, William B., 120 

Seashore, Carl, 38, 55, 60 

Semmelwciss, Ignatz, 220 

Shaffer, Laurance, 189, 211, 214, 219, 223, 

239 356 

Shakespeare, William, 186, 213 
Shaw, George Bernard, 229 
Sheldon, William H., 190-191 
Sheridan, Ann, 188 
Sheridan, Richard B., 227 
Sherman, L, 153 
Sherman, M., 153 
Sherrington, C. S., 151 
Shirley, Mary, 107 
Sidis, Boris, 332 
Sidis, William James, 332-338 
Siegrist, Charles, 68 
Siegrist, JoAnne, 68 
Siegrist, Joe, 68 
Simon, Abe, 20, 24, 176-177 
Singh, J. L., 150 
Skinner, Cornelia Otis, 277 
Smallwood, Edward, 81-82 

Index of Names 


Smith, E. R., 271, 272 

Smith, Lawrence, 99 

Smith, Lillian, 5 

Snyder, J. O., 74 

Sondern, Frederick, Jr., 9, 267 

Spalding, D. A., 106 

Spallanzant, Lazzaro, 77 

Stagg, Alonzo, 226 

Stalin, Joseph, 218 

Stanton, Hazel, 38, 129 

Stcelc, Arthur, 128 

Steffens, Lincoln, 346-348 

Steinach, Eugen, 30 

Stoddard, George D., 160, 316-317 

Stokes, John, 197-198 

Stokowski, Leopold, 229 

Stone, Ruth, 132-134 

Stopes, Mary, 284-285 

Sullivan, Ed, 197 

Supa, Michael, 75, 80-83 

Swanson, Gloria, 204 

Swarthout, Gladys, 39 

Talmey, Max, 357 

Taylor, Megan, 63, 179 

Tennyson, Alfred, Lord, 154 

Terman, Lewis, 323 

Thomas, Lowell, 68 

Thompson, Dorothy, 326 

Thompson, Helen, 107 

Thorndike, Edward L., 101, 211, 307 

Thorpe, Jim, 221 

Tibbett, Lawrence, 39 

Tiebor, Roland, 226, 227 

Tomlinson, Brian E., 205 

Torrence, Frank, 25 

Torrence, Victoria, 25, 71-72, 208 

Toscanini, Arturo, 37, 39-40, 54, 61, 67, 235 

Tredgold, A. F., 315 

Trevor, George, 115 

Truhibull, Robert, 29 

Tryon, C. H., 365 

Tully, Jim, 235 

Twain, Mark, 131 

Twcrsky, Jake, 79-80, 82-83 

Tying, Ed, 116 

Valentine, Willard, 198 
Van Gogh, Vincent, 220 

Van Ryn, Frederick, 276 
Vaughan, Warren T., 197 

Wada, Tomi, 28 

Wald, G., 87 

Walker, Stanley, 248 

Wallenda, Carl, 60, 64-65, 71, 207-208 

Wallcnstein, Alfred, 60 

Waller, Thomas ("Fats"), 37 

Waller, Willard, 4 

Walworth, Doiothy, 135-136 

Ward, Eddie, 68 

Ward, H. B., 90, 92, 103 

Warner, "Pop", 226 

Watson, John B., 102, 153, 155-157* *75 

Webster, H. J., 244-245 

Weismuller, Johnny, 60, 188 

Welles, Orson, 253 

Welles, Sumner, 326 

West, Luther S., 42 

West, Mae, 187 

West, $aul V., 205 

Whistler, James Abbott, 18-19, 36 

Whitman, Howard, 5 

Whitney, D. D., 35, 45-46 

Williams, Dan, 116 

Williams, Frankwood E., 138-139, 375 

Williams, R. E., 87 

Winchell, Walter, 290 

Wolf, Anna M., 143 

Wolf, Merrill Kenneth, 334 

Wolf, S. Jean, 235, 307 

Wolff, Harold G., 246 

Wood, Wilbur, 115-116 

Woodson, Marie, 289, 305 

Woodworth, Robert S., 102-103, 108-109, 


Wooley, Helen T., 128, 357, 365 
Wordsworth, William, 140 

Yates, Dorothy H., 196 
Young, Kimball, 138, 140, 189 
Youngman, Henny, 14 

Zaharias, George, 171 
Zimbalist, Efrem, 40 
Zinsser, Hans, 8, 292-293 
Zolotow, Maurice, 231 
Zondek, B., 178 
Zorbaugh, Harvey, 328 


Abstract intelligence, 307 
Acromegaly, 176 
Adrenal glands, 171 

disorders of, 168, 173, 179 

functions of, 120, 179 
Advertising psychology, 159-160 
Albinism, 86 
Allergy, 96, 118, 127 

relation to personality, 197-198 
Amentia, 320 
Amnesia, description of, 291, 294 

examples of, 294-295 
Anger, 153, 154, 155 
Animal psychology, Chapter 5 

in training seals, 226-227 
Anosmia, 46 
Appetite, 121 

Athletes vs. non-athletes, personality dif- 
ferences of, 204-206 
Athletic genius, 62-64 

Baboon Boy, the, iio-m 

Basal metabolism, 174 

Bat, experiments on, 77-79 

Bearded lady, the, 168 

Bcd-wetdng, 127-129 

Behaviorism, 153, 155-159 

Birds, migration of, 88 

Birth cry, 147 

Black-out, 25 

Blind, the, 79-83 

Body-build and personality, 186-192 

application of knowledge on, 193-202 

investigation of, 190-192, 203 

popular ideas on, 193-202 

types, 186-188 
Brain tumor, 85, 338 

Car sickness, 31 
Castration complex, 354 
Catamenia, 366 
"Change of Life*', 283-284 
Child feeding, 117-121 
Child prodigies, 37, 61-65, 327-3*8, 334- 
' 335 

Child psychology, Chapter 6 
ChUd training problems, 110-144 

Childhood terrors, source of, 253 
Circus performers, 64-69, 168 

temperament of, 207-209 
City College of New York, 79, 210 

observations on non-swimmers, 236-238 

study of athletes vs. non-athletes, 205 
Climacteric, see Menopause 
Color blindness, 86 

Compensation, see Escape mechanisms 
Conception, 173 
Conditioned reflex, 156 
Conditioning, psychological 

experiments on, 155-159 

in training children, 227 

in overcoming fears, 276 

of emotions, 159-165, 371 

to color, 158-159 

examples of, 233-234 

neuroses and, 353 

role in personality development, Chap- 
ter ii 

Conformity as motive, 229-230 
Contraception, attitude toward, 372 
Cretinism, 174 
Crime detection, 162-164 

Delinquency, 134, 324-325 
Delusions, 280-281 
Dementia, 320 
Diabetes, 178 

sense of hearing in, 84-85 

sense of smell in, 83-85 
Dream analysis, 353, 355 

Ego, 165, 218, 220 
Electro-narcosis, 32 

appeal to, 159-160 

bodily changes in, 161-162, 164 

classes of, 155 

conditioning of, 157-165 

effects of suppression, 175, 202, 231 

experiments on, 151, 155-158 

expression of, 3, 4 

guidance of, in children, 129-144 


General Index 


individual differences in, 145-147 

love and affection as, 133-136 

maturing of, 137 

patterns of, 154 

training of, 150 

theory of, 151-153 
Endocrine glands, Chapter 8 

circus personalities and, 168-169 

description of, 171 

function of, 169-181 

interrelation of, 173-174 

migration and, 88-92 

relation of, to personality, 171, 181-184 

virility and, 287 
Enuresis, 127-129 
Environmental influences, Chapter 4 

importance of, 58-59, 69, 70, 72-73, 149 
Equilibrium, sense of, 24-25, 60 
Escape mechanisms 

deception, 236 

flight, 241 

malingering, 245 

projection, 243 

rationalization, 242 

repression, 237 

sympathism, 246 
Eye, structure of, 86 

Faith, relation of to mental healing, 264- 

266, 269 

bodily changes in, 161-162, 164, 271 

conditioning in, 157-158, 164 

effects of, under stress, 175 

eradication of, 273-279 

establishment of, 156 

Freudian theories of, 156 

generated by culturization, 255-256 

implanted in children, 250-251, 254-255 

in combat, 9, 266-269 

motive in religion, 259 

of water, 236, 241-242, 275 

psychogenic effects of, 202, 231 

superstitions, 251 
Fear Neuroses, Chapter 12 

classification of, 268-269 

development in battle, 266-269 

treatment of, 272-274 

classes of, 320 

definition of, 320 

idiocy, 321 

imbecility, 312 

inheritance of, 315 

investigations of, 3 1 4-3 1 5 

moronity, 323 

Feeding problems in children, 117-121 
Fertility, 284-285 
Food faddism, 120 

description of, 353-355 

disagreement with, 353, 356-357 

dream analysis in, 355 

symbolism in, 355 

theories of, 353 
Functional insanities, Chapter 13 

attitude toward, 296 

causes of, 297, 305 

description of, 281-282, 301 

theories about, 298-299, 305 

treatment of, 302-303 

Genetics, definition of, 39 

acrobatic, 64-68 
athletic, 62-63 

attitude toward, 325, 329, 338 
fallacies about, 332 
principles relating to, 338 
problems of, 329-330 
William James Sidis, 332-338 
musical, 61 
Gifted intellect 

celebrated personalities and, 326 
characteristics of, 327-330 
investigation of, 323, 327, 331 
problems of, 329-330 
relation to Quiz Kids, 327-328 
training of, 327-330 
Gigantism, 169 
Glands, see Endocrine glands 
Goiter, 175 

Hallucinations, 281 

Hay fever, 96 

relation to personality, 197-198 

Hemophilia, 41, 58 

Heredity, Chapters 3, 4 

among musical greats, 39-40 
biographical examples of, 36-38 
relative to environment, 56-59, 69, 72-73, 

relative to insanity, 33-34 

Hibernation, 75, 98-99, 182 

Hoarding, 75, 97 


General Index 

Homing, 75 

among cats, 92-93 

among pigeons, 93-95 
Homosexuality, 351-352 
Human Betterment Foundation, 325 
Hunger, 27 
Hypochondriacs, 252 
Hysterical paralysis, 269-270 

Id, 165 
Idiocy, 321 

prevalence of, 324 

problem of, 342 

relation to intellect, 324 
Imbecility, 322 
Immorality, 324 

Individual differences, 4^-54> M5-M7 
Industrial testing, 319 
Infant Hercules, 29 

Infantile sexuality, 353, 357-358, 362-363 
Inheritance of 

allergies, 43 

baldness, 41 

color blindness, 41 

deafness, 41 

hemophilia, 41, 59 

intelligence, 315, 335 

musical talents, 38-40 

physical traits, 35-36 

sex-linked traits, 41 

taste sensitivity, 48, 55 

temperament, 50-55 

visual acuities, 42, 55 

development of, 256-258 

release from, 9, 12, 16 
Instincts, Chapter 5 

among animals, 75-101 

definition of, 76, 104 

discussion of, 100-104 
Insanity, sec Psychoses 
Intelligence, Chapter 14 

definition of, 316 

kinds of, 307 

relation to heredity, 313-3^51 335 

tests of, 309-312 
Intelligence Quotient 

application of, 318 

computation of, 312-3x3 

constancy of, 316-318 

description of, 308 

genius and, 329, 338 

gifted levels of, 325-326 

influence of heredity on, 315, 335 

investigation of, 317 

levels for types of employment, 319 

prostitution and, 319 
Islets of Langerhans, 171 
Involuntary nerve control, 164 
I.Q., see Intelligence Quotient 

James-Lange theory of emotions, 151 
Judging personality by appearances, fal- 
lacies of, 192-202 
Jukes family, 314 

Kallikak family, 314-315 
Kinesthesia, 26, 60 


development, iio-in 

expressive, 5 
Lcft-handedness, 113-117 

athletics and, 115-116 

dentists and, 114-115 

relation to stammering, 113-114 
Lie-detector, 10, 162-164 
Lying, 8 

experiments on, 10-11 

universality of, 11-12 

as an emotion, 153-155 

guidance in, 134 

parental, 136-139 

Maladjustments, 236-247 
Malingering, 245-246 
Manic-depressive psychosis, z88, 291 

description of, 288 

in men of fame, 289 

adolescent, 358 

adult, 359 

attitudes toward, 360 

fallacies about, 298-299, 359-360 

infant, 122, 357-358 

emotions and, 148 

experiments, 106-107 

talents and, 108-110 
Mechanical intelligence, 307 

melancholia of, 283-284 

personality changes in, 284 

therapy in, 286 

General Index 


Menstruation, 173, 366-370 

Mental defect, 320-325 

Mental giftedness, 180, 323. 325-331, 338 

Mental illness 

Adlerian theories of, 261 

attitude toward, 296-297 

causes of, 297, 305 

family and, 300-302 

Freudian theories of, 261 

heredity and, 303-304 

religious fears and, 261 

sex as basis of, 224, 260 

theories of, 298-299, 305 

treatment of, 302-303 

war and, 266-273 
Migrations, 75 

bird, 88 

experiments on, 87-89 

mystery of, 87 

salmon, 89-92 

crime and, 324 

morality and, 323-324 
Motives, Chapter 10 

application in law, 212-213 

athletics and, 221 

grouping of, 214 

imitation, 229-230 

mastery, 216-223 

social approval, 226-229 

study of, 201 

subsistence, 214-216 
Musical genius, 60-61 
Musical talents, 38-40 
Myxedema, 174, 202 

Narcosynthcsis, 274 
Nausea, 30-3 1, 173 
Nerve control, 164 
Nervous breakdown, 282 

attitude toward, 239-240 

examples of, 239-240, 299-300 

hysterical pattern, 269-270 

relation to repression, 239 

treatment of, 272-274 
New York University, 205 
Night blindness, 86-87 

Objective psychology, 211, 223-224 
Obesity, 168 
Oedipus complex, 354 

Paranoia, 293 
Parathyroid gland, 171 
Parents and 

child training problems, no 

emotions of children, 129-144 

fear in children, 251-252, 254-255 

feeding time, 117-119 

gifted children, 338 

language development in children, no 

left-handed children, 114-116 

sex education, 347 

stammering in children, 112 

thumb-sucking in children, 122 

toilet training of children, 124-129 
Paresis, 202 
Pellagra, 202 

adjustments, 209, Chapter n 

allergies and, 197-198 

basis in childhood, 141-143 

differences between athletes and noo* 
athletes, 204-206 

differences between twins, 53-54, 209 

endocrine glands and, Chapter 8 

facial appearance and, 194-196 

physique and, 186-192, 203-204 

popular fallacies about, 193-202 

racial differences in, 198-200 

relation to I.Q., 202 

traits of circus performers, 207-209 
Phi Beta Kappa men, 326 
Phobias (also see Fear) 

classes of, 279 

definition of, 278 

personality and, 186-192, 203 

types of, 186-188 
Pigeons, 94-95 
Pineal gland, 171, 179-180 
Pituitary gland, 168, 171, 173, 176 
Polygamists, 376 
Prayers, 9, 10 

of intellect, 180, 327-328, 334-335 

of sex development, 29-30, 180 
Pregnancy, 173 

a test for, 177 
Premarital sexual relations, 372-374 

philosophy and psychology of, 374-377 

societal relation to, 376-377 
Projection, 243-244 
Pseudohermaphroditism, 179 
"Psychic sense," 104 


General Index 

Psychoanalysis, 140, 219 

basketball and, 223-224 

disagreement with, 356-357 

Freud, as founder of, 35^-357 

menstruation and, 367 

misapplication of, 356 

psychoses and, 301 

symbolism in, 354-355 

theories of, 353 
Psychogenic effects 

of anxiety, 246 

of fear, 175, 202, 231 

of repression, 239 

advertising and, 14-15, 159-161 

educational, 6-7 

cndocrines and, 166, 182 

quackery in, 16 

schools of, 143, 2ii 

selling and, 14, 161 
Psychoses, Chapter 13 

characterization of, 281-282, 301, 305 

treatment of, 302-303 

types of, 295-296 

Psychosomatics, 175, 202, 231, 239, 246 
Puberty, 366 
"Punch drunk", 20 

Quackery in psychology, 16 

Race and personality, 198-200 
Racial differences, 199 
Rape, 343 

Rationalization, 242-245 
Reflex acts, 105-106, 147 

fear as motive in, 259 

mental disturbances and, 260-262 

mental hygiene in, 264-266 

psychological associations in, 259 
Repression, 237-239 

psychosomatic effects of, 239 

St. Johns College of Maryland, 6, 7 
Sales psychology, 161 
Schizophrenia, 281, 286, 291 
Schizophrenic type, 188-189 

relation to tuberculosis, 192 
Seasickness, 25 

Self^enteredness, 218, 220, 301 
Self-expression, 6, 7 
Self sacrifice, 220 
Semicircular canals, 24 

Senses, the, Chapters 2, 3 

equilibrium, 24-25, 60 

fatigue, 31 

hearing, 82 

hunger, 27 

kinesthesia, 26, 60 

nausea, 30 

number of, 22 

passion, 29 

pain, 24 

pressure, 22 

temperature, 23 

touch, 24 

vision, experiments in, 80*83 
Sex behavior 

childhood and, 340 

Freudian theories of, 352-357 

in the Trobriand islands, 349 

relation to a social structure, 349-351 

variations of, in primitive societies, 349- 


Sex determination, 41 
Sex education 

content of, 363-370 

procedure in, 361, 370-374 

school vs. home in, 343-347 

social point of view in, 374-377 

vocabulary in, 363 
Sex glands, 29, 173 
Sex impulse, 29 
Sex inversion, 167-168, 352 
Sex -linked traits, 41 
Sex motivations, 224, 260 
Sex problems, 348-349 
Sexual development, Chapter 15 

attitude training in, 370-372 

precocious example of, 30, 180 

stages of, 363-366 
Sexual intercourse 

facts about, 373 

preparation for marriage, 371-374 

statistics on, 359 
Sexual virility, 30, 284-285 
Sleep, theories of, 32-33 
Smell, sense of, 46-48 
Social intelligence, 307 
Stanford-Binet test, 310 
Sterilization, 325 
Stuttering, 111-113 
Superstitions, 251, 367 
Symbolism applied to 

basketball, 224 

General Index 397 

eating habits, 256 Thirst, 28 

fears, 256-257 Thumb-sucking, 121-122 

Sympathism, 246 Thymus gland, 171, 179-180 

Thyroid gland, 168, 173-176 

Taste, sense of, 44-46 Toilet training, 123-127 

Temper tantrums, 130-133 Twins, study of, 52-54 

circus performers and, 207-209 Unconscious, the, 165, 353 

differences between siblings, 52 

differences between twins, 52 Vanity, 229 

typing by Greeks, 185 Venereal disease, 4, 343, 374 

Tests Vision, experiments in sense of, 80-83 

intelligence, 309-312 Voluntary nerve control, 164 

industrial, 319 

of pregnancy, 177 War neuroses, 266-273 

sensory, 44-46 

Thinking, qualities of, 308 Yale Clinic of Child Development, 125